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David & Layla (2005)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  21 October 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 808 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 42 critic

Star-crossed lovers, David & Layla- Romeo & Juliet in New York with a twist!. Inspired by a true story, a spicy romantic comedy...via Iraq & Jerusalem.


(as Jay Jonroy)


(as Jay Jonroy)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Fine
Abby, David's fiancee
Mel Fine
Judith Fine
Woody Fine
Uncle Ali "Al"
Zina, Uncle Al's wife
Ken Kliban ...
Dr. Jacobson, vasectomy doctor
Albert Macklin ...
Dr. Susswein, the shrink
Yun, immigration officer
Howar, Saz / Tanbur player.
Anahid ...
Aunt Aftaw Khan


Sparks fly when a Jew and a Muslim fall in love in New York. David, a TV host of "Sex & Happiness", becomes smitten with the voluptuous Layla - a mysterious, sensual dancer. Layla turns out to be a Muslim refugee. Teased by specious tips from his ironic French cameraman, David madly pursues Layla. This sets off a veiling and unveiling of the similarities - and contrasts - of their ancient cultures. David's lust grows into love as he discovers in stunning Layla, a sensitive, intelligent, war survivor with an ancient rich culture that echoes his own culture. But their families are dead set against this unlikely romance. Faced with deportation, Layla must choose: Muslim American Dr. Ahmad or Jewish American David? Will David and Layla follow their hearts to blast through centuries of religious animosity? Written by Jay Jonroy, writer / producer / director

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" in the 21st century? See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

21 October 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kosher & Halal  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,491 (USA) (20 July 2007)


$120,750 (USA) (14 March 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film is inspired by a true love story. Married since 1990, the real David & Layla now live in Paris. They flew to New York to meet the cast and the crew during the production of this film. The real Layla designed Layla's wedding dress. She is the guest with green eyes and dark hair who is one of the Kurdish dancing women in bright golden orange gilet, during the wedding. Her husband, the real David, plays himself as the new vasectomy patient who answers to his real name, David Ruby, and gets the appointment with Dr. Jacobson. See more »

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User Reviews

A Boldly Relevant & Intelligent Romantic Comedy That Is Timely & Timeless!
2 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I rarely see anything as good, as fresh, as relevant, and as funny as David & Layla. For our troubled times, there does not seem to be a film out there as topical as this. A bold New York independent film that amazingly succeeds in mixing romantic comedy with the tragic background of Layla- a new immigrant to America. Sensual Muslim Layla is the orphan survivor of 'Kurdish 911': the ill-known Saddam's gassing of her hometown, HALABJA, in which her family was among the 5000 murdered. Now a refugee in New York, the stunning, graceful & vulnerable Layla with her big innocent eyes, delicate hands, and hypnotic oriental dancing, becomes Jewish David's obsessive "love at first sight." There follows a fast sending up of the similarities and the differences between the two cultures that ends with the two sides finding they have a lot more in common humanity than they had ever imagined. Alluring SHIVA ROSE as mesmerizing Layla and charming David MOSCOW as resourceful David lead a talented ensemble cast. The gifted CALLIE THORNE (RESCUE ME- yes please!) is a dazzling gem as kick-boxing Abby. Abby is David's dominating, neurotically sexy Upper East Jewish princess fiancée. PETER VAN WAGNER as Mel, the "Jewish Archie Bunker", is wonderfully memorable; as is his mirthful, wise-cracking gay son Woody (David's younger brother) played convincingly by WILL JANOWITZ- a rising talent to watch. Instead of playing JUDIH, the Jewish wife, satirically like her husband MEL (or like the mischievous support characters in TV Seinfeld) POLLY ADAMS plays her Judith sometimes too "truthfully"- dramatically correct. This renders Judith to be somewhat of a melodramatic but still credible, albeit stereotypical, Jewish mother. Alexander BLAISE mischievously plays French Francois, David's ironic cameraman and passionate amour expert who pines to taste women like Layla as if they were delicious dishes (oysters & papayas!) Layla's Kurdish family is acted believably by a marvelous, if mostly unknown, ethnic cast. This is remarkable when one learns that Layla's Kurdish family is played by no less than six different nationalities: Layla (Irish American Persian); Goofy, political Uncle Ali (Lebanese); Attractive Zina the feminine, resilient wife (Indian); Layla's mature relative, spiritual Howar, the Tanbur musician who's secretly in love with Layla (Egyptian); the hormonal handsome peeping Farhad 'Fred' (American); and Aftaw Khan, Layla's lovable, wise old aunt (Armenian.) This inspired "Kurdish" casting is in itself quite an achievement by this first-time director who apparently could not find Kurdish actors in New York. The Imam is played sincerely with due dignity by the noble Egyptian actor, HANY KAMAL, who in reality is the father of Joseph KAMAL - who impressively plays Howar, the Kurdish musician! According to the IMDb bio, the New York-based writer/producer/director, JAY JONROY - who has lived in London, San Francisco, LA, Rio and Paris - gave up executive career to study acting & photography in London. Later, he learnt screen writing craft and film-making at UCLA, USC and AFI. Multi-lingual JONROY is an ex-fashion photographer, an amateur art collector, music player and a world music collector. No wonder the film is a sumptuous & subtle mélange of authentic colors – of sets and costumes - and of ethnic music of both sides, together with sound bites of Manhattan jazz and buzz- all used to contrast, underscore and move this unusual New York love story. Distinctive cinematography – framing and movement by turn poetic, playful, energetic, even hectic, to express the emotion or comedy of each scene - is by HARLAN BOSMAJIAN, famous for the highly successful independent, "LOVELY & AMAZING" starring Brenda Blethyn, Katherine Keener et al. Watch out for a seductive and hilarious long sailing boat ride out in the open waters. Boat scenes, especially sailing boats, are expensive and tricky stuff to shoot, so usually not attempted in independent movies. (Hitchcock's three 'hates' to film: dogs, babies and boats!) The hitherto unknown Editor, EGON KIRINCIC, will surely be noted for his lively, well-paced editing: you blink and this daring mixed-genres 110-minute film is over, leaving you wishing to see it again! This enlightening romantic comedy of clash and reconciliation of deadly opposing cultures is optimistic, timely and timeless. I can't wait to see it again, next time I hope in public theaters.

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Is this on DVD or VHS jeromec-2
where can I see this movie? cinderstubby
Romeo + Juliet or West Side Story? jjonroy
I LOVED IT ! jjonroy
VIGGO MORTENSEN? yummysweet2
Awesome film! Great date movie. paisan101
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