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Film / Nina's Heavenly Delights

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Nina’s Heavenly Delights is a 2006 Rom Com about a cooking contest, directed by Pratibha Parmar. The title character just happens to be gay and, like most of the rest of the cast, a Scot of Indian ancestry. Bollywood elements ensue.

The death of her father Mohan brings prodigal daughter Nina (Shelley Conn) home again to her mother, siblings - and the family restaurant, „The Taj“. Being able to keep the latter now hinges on the cooking skills Nina learned at her father‘s knees. In the „Best of The West Curry Competition“ she will have to face the former fiancé she left at the altar, Sanjay. Her new partner brings just as much potential for trouble: Girl next door Lisa (Laura Fraser) owns half of the restaurant after Mohan bet it away. And she already seems to be very much a part of the family.

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Nina‘s Heavenly Delights contains examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: What prompted Nina to run away in the backstory. Her parents were trying to set her up with Sanjay. Also, their own marriage seems to have been an arranged one, as Suman would have preferred Raj.
  • Culture Clash: Averted. Lisa is already well integrated into the Shah household, likes the Indian cuisine and shares the more modern attitudes of Nina and her siblings.
  • Erotic Eating: Nina‘s mother first gets suspicious when she sees Nina feeding Lisa a morsel from her fork
  • Fantasy Sequence: When Nina sees Lisa at The Club and imagines dancing together
  • Foreshadowing: Suman‘s question about "Any more bombshells?" after Priya and Kary have revealed their respective secrets: She knew something was up.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Nina doesn’t really recognize Lisa from their early school days.
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  • Hands-On Approach: Subverted. Nina just shows Lisa how to roll chapattis. Still sexy.
  • Imagine Spot: When Nina sees Lisa at The Club and imagines dancing together.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Nina expects this reaction from her mother concerning her relationship with Lisa - in good Bollywood tradition.
  • Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids!: Lisa believes there's "no such thing" as love. She is soon proven wrong.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While Nina is getting closer to Lisa, her Mom is watching the Indian classic MughalEAzam in the next room.
    • Bobbi‘s car horn plays a melody from Qurbani - a movie mostly remembered for its gay (male) subtext.
  • Technician vs. Performer: As evidenced by the credo "always follow your heart". Spelled out by Nina at her visit to the competition. Sanjay‘s meal is technically perfect, but the chemistry is not quite right.
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