This warm and breezy romantic comedy from director Jay Jonroy explores an interracial romance between the unlikeliest of partners: a Muslim refugee and a New York Jew. David Fine (David Moscow), the host of a Big Apple man-on-the-street TV show called "Sex and Happiness," never expected to meet and fall in love with a Middle Eastern immigrant - particularly given his marital engagement to a Jewish partner, Abby (Callie Thorne). But his path soon intersects with that of Layla, a young woman orphaned when Saddam Hussein's troops gassed the rest of her family. She now lives with relatives in Manhattan, and (unbeknownst to the kinfolk, who believe she's a nursing student) supports herself by collecting under the table for a slightly suggestive dance act - the warm-up for a local belly dancer. With deportation looming, Layla looks for an out; a customs official suggests a marriage of convenience, but that soon becomes unnecessary when Layla meets David and deep, abiding love blooms. . . to the horror of both families. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi
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DAVID & LAYLA is an indie movie lover's wet dream, a thinking man's romantic comedy that truly deserves to be seen by everyone. It's like classic Woody Allen with a modern cultural twist. Writer-Producer-Director Jay Jonroy makes an impressive feature film debut. It boasts acid-tongued wit, razor sharp observations of cultural differences, and a game cast. Let's face it: a Jewish-Muslim romance in lesser hands runs the risk of being a cringe-inducing, six years too late MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING ripoff. But Jonroy clearly adores the titular leads, competently played by David Moscow and Shiva Rose; I think Jonroy made a smart move and casted two well-known but not totally recognizable leads for D & L; this really plays up the "Based on a True Story" aspect of the film and grounds the story in a very real New York City setting. All in all, Jonroy has lovingly crafted a palatable/ believable love story that doesn't insult its audience. Can't wait for the DVD release.
A real find. Glad I had a chance to see it. I have a soft spot for romantic comedies, but this one struck me as different. First of all, there's an undeniable intelligence in the writing. That's not something you would expect from a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. It's a Jewish and Muslim romance, but thankfully that isn't used as a gimmick for cheap jokes. I could tell the writer really thought out the possibilities of bringing the two cultures together, and it's really well done. The film isn't afraid to delve into politics, but it doesn't allow itself to get mired in it, because there was always a witty line or clever scene reliably around the corner. Performances strong too. I hope I see more of Shiva Rose (she plays Layla) in the future. I highly recommend this.