Film: I Can't Think Straight
A semi-autobiographical 2008 Girls Love
film by Shamim Sarif, starring Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth.
In the upper echelons of traditional Middle Eastern society, Reema and Omar prepare for the marriage of their daughter Tala. But back at work in London, Tala encounters Leyla, a young British Indian woman who is dating Tala's best friend Ali. Tala sees something unique in the artless, clumsy, sensitive Leyla who secretly works to become a writer. And Tala's forthright challenges to Leyla's beliefs begins a journey of self-awareness for Leyla. As the women fall in love, Tala's own sense of duty and cultural restraint cause her to pull away from Leyla and fly back to Jordan where the preparations for an ostentatious wedding are well under way.
As family members descend and the wedding day approaches, the pressure mounts until Tala finally cracks and extricates herself. Back in London, Leyla is heartbroken but learns to break free of her own self-doubt and her mother's expectations, ditching Ali and being honest with her parents about her sexuality. When Ali and Leyla's feisty sister Yasmin help throw Tala and Leyla together again, Tala finds that her own preconceptions of what love can be is the final hurdle she must jump to win Leyla back.
This film provides examples of the following tropes:
- All Lesbians Want Kids: The film ends with Tala telling Leyla they must have kids. She seems to want this primarily as a means of compromising with her family, who are not 100% happy with her being gay.
- Coming-Out Story: Tala and Leyla.
- Creator Cameo: "Amina" at the book signing is Shamim Sarif.
- One of the books on Leyla's shelf is by Shamim Sarif.
- Leyla's comment about how "Amina" is such an interesting name is a reference to Sheth's character in The World Unseen.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Leyla.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: A significant plot point, as Tala's family is highly traditional.
- First Girl Wins: Tala. After Tala and Leyla split up, Leyla starts dating Jennifer. However after she finds out Tala did not get married and came out to her parents they get back together.
- Flamboyant Gay: Sami.
- Girls Love: Tala and Leyla.
- Gossipy Hens: Zina and Lamia
- Happy Ending: Tala and Leyla.
- Hollywood Atheist: Averted with Tala.
- Incompatible Orientation: Leyla and Ali.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Tala and Leyla.
- The Matchmaker: Yasmin and Ali become this for Tala and Leyla.
- Meddling Parents: Both girls' parents meddle a bit, but Leyla's parents are a considerably more light-hearted example of the trope than Tala's.
- Moe Couplet: Leyla and Tala. Especially Leyla.
- Pair the Spares: It's implied at the end that Yasmin ends up with Ali.
- Rich Bitch: Reema, Tala's mother, is a racist, homophobic bitch. She's also a hypocrite, constantly railing about how racist the Israelis are.
- Runaway Bride: Tala.
- Running Gag: Reema's maid keeps spitting in her mistress' drinks, but Reema keeps handing said drinks over to other people. After Tala comes out, Reema is so shocked that she demands a drink. The maid is ecstatic.
- Straight Gay: Uncle Ramzi.
- Title Drop: Yasmin wears a T-Shirt that says "I Can't Think Straight" after her sister Leyla comes out to her parents.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Pretty much the entire movie's plot is explained here.
- Transparent Closet: Leyla, as noted by Yasmin as she looks over her collection of k.d. lang CDs and lesbian-themed books. Yasmin also brings up Leyla's dissatisfaction with Ali.