What Does Love Have To Do With It? movie review (2023)

Zoe was surprised that her old friend wasn’t hoping for what her culture called a “love marriage.” He has absolutely no interest in the handsome, kind, funny young vet who is his mother (Emma Thompson, with a blast) wants him to get married. However, Zoe has her own conflicts about love, with a history of short-lived relationships that none of them qualify as likely to stick around long enough to see an entire TV series together. When he tells fairy tales to his nieces and nephews, he changes the ending. In her version, Cinderella breaks glass ceilings instead of losing a glass slipper. And the princess would rather have a cool talking frog than a boring old prince.

Zoe is an accomplished documentary filmmaker (although it’s hard to imagine her making a professional film with a small camera, doing all her own filming, sound, and editing). The producers had no interest in his proposals for films on tragic subjects. He impulsively suggested a documentary about his friend’s progress in finding a bride. The producers were delighted and suggested titles like “When Harry Was Forces to Meet Sally” or “My Big Fat Arranged Marriage.” Zoe has a better idea: “Love Contractor.” Kaz reluctantly agrees, and Zoe begins to follow him with her camera from a meeting with a happy matchmaker to an awkward mixer at a “love at first Skype” meeting with Maymouna (Sajal Ali), a bride in Lahore, a shy law student, and then their wedding.

The movie comes from Working Title Films, the studio behind classic rom-coms like “Love Actually,””Notting Hill,” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” and it acknowledges, pays homage to, and steals a little from those and some Hollywood favorites as well. Zoe told the producers that she plans to interview the couples for context and commentary just like in “When Harry Met Sally.” Like the movie, those moments are some of the most memorable. This one has familiar beats but charming performers, better dialogue, and deeper character than many formulaic movie romances.

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