Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This is like the third ‘hot Eastern Indian woman falls for American white guy’ movie I’ve seen this year with the first two being ‘Outsourced’ and ‘Americanizing Shelly’ which I think definitely qualifies as some sort of trend. I’d thought I’d probably seen all the romantic comedies this genre has to offer, why this is I don’t know considering I don’t even like romantic comedies, but then I was at the local library and stumbled upon another ‘hot Indian woman American white guy’ love story that I feel I almost have to watch simply to complete the circle. I wish I could remember the title but it seems to be a Bollywood version of that Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant movie ‘Notting Hill’. Anyway enough about all of that nonsense as we are here to discuss the RomCom ‘The Other end of the line’ which is pretty much a paint by numbers Romantic Comedy, as all romantic comedies all tend to be. This means if you enjoy watching attractive people perform pre-scripted RomCom acts then chances are you will also like this movie.

Jesse Metcalf is hard driving advertising executive Granger Woodruff. There aren’t a lot of plumbers or garbagemen in the universe of movies but there are enough Ad Men to fill up all of Texas. After Granger and his partner Mike (Michael Chen) blow the account of hotel magnate Kit Hawskin (Larry Miller), Granger’s bad day gets worse when he gets a call from a sexy voiced woman from San Francisco calling herself Jennifer David informing him that he has a crap load of unexplained charges which have shown up on his credit card.

On the other end of that line really isn’t Jennifer David from Frisco but is instead Priya (Shirya Siran) from Mumbai who has been trained to sound like an American blonde to make her clients feel more comfortable. Priya is a lovely girl from a traditional Indian family who is prepping her for an arranged marriage though Priya isn’t quite sure this is what she wants out of her life. Her conflict becomes more pronounced as she continues her conversations with Granger which prompts the man to inform the sexy voiced woman that he will be in San Francisco in a week to hopefully resurrect the big contract that he has blown.

Off the cuff Priya purchases a round trip ticket to Frisco for a quick holiday to meet this man she has kind of fallen for, even though she’s never met him, because he just might be her soul mate. Right about now the RomCom stuff kicks into high gear as Granger is looking forward to meeting Jennifer but instead meets Priya with Priya failing to inform Granger that she is in fact Jennifer. Meanwhile Priya’s parents are mortified that their daughter, who we should mention is hot as HELL if we haven’t done so already, is cavorting around California soiling the families good name which prompts them to hop on a flight to ‘Frisco as well. This has to be getting expensive. Misinterpretation turns into confusion which turns into Granger getting sucker punched which turns into boy finding girl only to lose girl with the hope that he will realize and discover the error of his ways and find the girl once again. I’m not one to spoil it for you but…

Even though Romantic Comedies rarely, if ever, deviate from their basic structure I have seen some really, really bad romantic comedies. Without being a filmmaker, I imagine even within the tight restrictive confines of the RomCom formula you still need appealing actors, a competent director and a halfway decent editor to make a movie work. With that in mind I should mention, despite my overall distaste for the genre, there are a couple of RomCom’s that are near and dear to my heart, namely ‘You’ve got Mail’ and ‘Boomerang’… Eddie Murphy was also an advertising executive in that movie too. Now while ‘The Other End of the Line’ was no ‘Boomerang’, riding on the strength of its appealing cast it was oddly watchable. Addictively so. This is one really sweet Romantic Comedy, meaning that there just aren’t any bad people in this movie. Sure Larry Miller’s hotel magnate is a smart mouthed asshole… look, Larry Miller playing a smart mouthed asshole, another surprise… but he’s a good-natured asshole. Sure Granger’s model girlfriend played by Sara Foster is a bitch but she’s not so much of a bitch that you still wouldn’t mind going out with her. And don’t get us started on how awesomely sweet Jesse Metcalfe’s Granger and Shirya Siran’s Priya are. You would think Jesse Metcalfe would be making all kinds of loot as a pretty boy Romantic Comedy lead, I mean he’s just about pitch perfect in this movie, but I guess there’s only room for one Box Office pretty boy RomCom lead and Matthew McConaughey doesn’t seem too interested in giving that up sweet ass gig any time soon.

If you’re looking for gritty realism and the hard hitting truth in your movies… which you obviously aren’t or you wouldn’t be perusing a saccharine sweet RomCom review and would instead be spending your time watching depressing Clint Eastwood movies, I’m guessing ‘The Other End of the Line’ will not disappoint. Predictable to a fault but filled with people, if they actually existed, who would make this world of ours a much better place.

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