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In Glasgow, Scotland, the Pakistani parents of Casim Khan have decided that he is going to marry his cousin Jasmine. Unfortunately, Casim has just fallen in love with his younger sister's music teacher Roisin. Not only is she 'goree', a white woman, she is also Irish and catholic, things that may not go down well with Casim's parents. They start a relationship but Casim is torn between following his heart and being a good son.Written by
(On The Right Banke Of The River Mix)
by Stephen McRobbie and Katrina Mitchell
Licensed courtesy of Domino Recording Company Ltd.
Used with the kind permission of Universal Momentum Music Ltd. See more »
Every romance film should be this way; the lovers bickering, throwing each other out of the apartment, taking shots at each other's families and generally not getting along in between periods of being so intensely in love that they forget everything but each other.
Sadly, most romance movies aren't like this at all.
Ae Fond Kiss, or Just a Kiss, is a gritty account of two blue-collar workers in love, one a Scottish girl and the other a product of an immigrant Pakistani family, all taking place in the not so glamorous city of Glasgow during the late 20th century. The Scottish girl is a music teacher at a Catholic school and meets the Pakistani boy when her guitar is broken during a racial incident. So far it follows much of the standard boy-meets-girl line. The romance takes off, they find they are getting along swell, and then the price comes due.
You can see it coming, the Muslim Pakistani family coming down on the boy for not going along with his arranged marriage, and him going on the outs with his family. But then the price comes due for his Scottish girlfriend, too, and that was a little harder to call. It comes down to both of them having to pay a price for their love, and the various tests of their willingness to do so. Even at the end, it was a bit uncertain, as such a romance would probably be. You can almost see them trying to decide if this is worth the trouble they are going through, or just a lust thing they will eventually get over.
The characters are likable, even when you don't agree with them. The father who doesn't want his son going out with a Catholic girl is not only likable, you can even see his point of view and the quandary he is in. The story line is believable, especially today, and the sub plots were intriguing.
I'm not normally much for romance films, unless there are a lot of naked chicks wobbling around, or the popcorn is really good, but I liked this movie quite a bit. Something in it appeals to even a die hard chick flick hater like me. It would make an excellent date movie, giving you something to discuss while providing that all important element of romance that leads to your hand sliding off the gear shift and squeezing her thigh while you make some pseudo-intellectual point about one of the various issues in the film.
There is no feel-good Hollywood ending here, it just sort of fades out, leaving you wondering what would happen with such a couple. Did they stay together? Did the boy reconcile with his family? But you don't feel cheated out of an ending, rather you are forced to confront how you, the viewer, would deal with the same or similar issues.
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