Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Ah the lame romantic comedy. Truly a staple of Cinema from all over the world is the lame romantic comedy. With ĎAmericanizing Shellyí we have a completely innocuous, totally harmless romantic comedy that isnít all THAT lame but Iím thinking that Iím going to have to start getting my wife involved in watching these movies and writing these reviews, or at least give me some feedback because these romantic comedies just run together and really arenít doing it for me.

Rob (Brad Raider) is a really nice, really sweet graduate student about to get his masters degree in something or another and has as a something terrible kind of crush the completely vacant and mean-spirited Nicole (Erin Hershey) who has shattered poor Robís heart yet again. Robís wise cracking buddy Blaine (RonReaco Lee) informs Rob that only the wealthy and the handsome have a chance with a girl like Nicole, a guy like tall handsome and wealthy Hollywood talent agent Neil Brar (Phillip Rhys). Our heroes observe this particular gentlemen hanging by his limo playing the ladies like a fiddle. Realizing that this is who he wants to be and knowing that his buddy Blaine is heading to Los Angeles after graduation to begin his Army training, Rob tags along in hopes of being a Hollywood player just like Neal.

Halfway across the world Shalini Singh (Namrata Singh Gujral) is quickly approaching her thirtieth birthday and is still single. The one she was betrothed to at the tender age of six soon moved away to America and she has been waiting for him ever since. That someone would be Neil the Hollywood player of course, but Shalini, not having any idea what heís like today, decides to make a special trip to Los Angeles to find her man. Upon her arrival Neil obviously isnít too terribly happy to see the dowdy bespectacled traditional young woman show up at his office and unceremoniously kicks her out,

about the same time Rob loses his job as Neilís assistant due to some backroom dealings on Nealís part and he loses his girlfriend Nicole, who has been using him, to Neal as well. Rob explains to his boss (Beau Bridges) about Neilís dishonesty, but to make him a believer that these ideas that Rob claims Neil stole, Bossman randomly picks a woman out of the crowd, Shalini as it were, and challenges him that if he can make her into a celebrity, this will save his job.

It is now RomCom time as Rob, along with his wisecracking buddy Blaine, set about the task of changing Shalini, now called Shelly, into a real live American that hopefully Neil will fall for, get Rob back with Nicole, and save Robís job. Contact lenses, speech lessons, an ethnicity change, combined with what she already brought to the table in being a bit top heavy with incredibly narrow hips and now Shelly is on her way. Naturally there are mishaps, deceptions and shenanigans along the way as our young Eliza and her American Professor Higgins fight their growing feelings for each other, but we know they can only fight them for so long.

Itís story time! So I used to be a chemist (really!) and Iím working in a lab beside this older Indian woman Rhani whose nineteen year old daughter comes by to pick her up from work one day. SMOKING! Iím talking you couldnít get within six feet of this child because she was so hot. I was about twenty two at the time, and engaged, but I just had to ask Rhani what was up with THAT! What does a brother have to do be DOWN around here. Rhani informed me that her husband was chosen for her years ago. I asked Rhani that shouldnít her daughter be in charge of deciding who she may wish to spend the rest of her life with, to which Rhani replied ĎAbsolutely not!í She explained to me that children make decisions based on emotion while parents make practical decisions in their childrenís best interest. Canít argue with that, but damn she would have looked good on my right arm with my wife on my left.

Thereís absolutely nothing wrong with this RomCom as it posses everything you could possibly want in a Romantic Comedy. Two attractive leads, a wise cracking buddy, some Threeís Company style deception and now cue the strings for the happy ending. And thatís pretty much it. We get the added bonus of a few insights on Indian culture, which I must assume have some accuracy since the films star, Namrata Singh Gujral, was also the films screenwriter, and I unfortunately have found out that dark skinned people gets no love in India either. Sucks to be us.

ĎAmericanizing Shellyí was reasonably humorous in spots, the performances were solid if not spectacular and the narrative had a unique angle to it but was still at its core basically the same story weíve seen before. But if you like Romantic Comedies, I suspect you will probably like this one just fine, which is why I think we need another voice over here to give a more in-depth view of these things as they just seem to be more of the same to me.

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