Friday, 28 August 2015 00:00

Learning to Drive Featured

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Broad Green Pictures, Lavender Pictures and Core Pictures present an R rated, 90 minute, Comedy, Romance, Drama, directed by Isabel Coixet and written by Sarah Kernochan with a theater release date of August 21, 2015,


In New York City, Darwan (Ben Kingsley) teaches beginners how to drive while working for ENA’s Driving School but at night he drives a taxi. Driving the cab is where he first encounters Wendy (Patricia Clarkson) who is being dumped by her husband Ted (Jake Weber) for a younger model, possibly one of his students. Wendy returning home alone since Ted is with his mistress she starts to drown in her memories of sorrow that is until Tasha (Grace Gummer) her daughter shows up in the morning trying to cheer her up. She recommends that her mother drive to Vermont to stay with her for a while but one big problem Wendy can’t drive and doesn’t want to because she thinks Ted will return. When she discovers he won’t and Darwan makes a surprise visit she soon hires him to teach her to drive. Oh what an experience this is!

Wendy is a book critic and quite good but when it comes to driving a car much is left to be desired. Yet along the journey to achieve her license Darwan and her become closer, for him maybe a bit of romantic thoughts but for her not so much. Both are dealing with personal issues yet Darwan informs her that her time in life is right now so she needs to take care of it. As she breaks into day dreams she begins to wonder what if or could it be rather than this is it. Darwan originally from India is being suited for marriage as his sister has picked him a wife and is sending her, Jasleen (Sarita Choudhury), to marry Darwan. Strange tradition but according to Darwan God did not intend for anyone to be alone. Ok so what is my problem?

Darwan is soon dealing with a new wife that he doesn’t even know and Wendy is dealing with a divorce and new apartment along with her sister Debbie (Samantha Bee) setting her up on blind dates with bizarre sex to follow. In the end, signals get crossed, strangers become lovers, lovers become strangers but through it all sometimes a drive in the country is the best remedy to start over.

The film is cute and slow moving and probably won’t be liked by many but for a rainy day at home on a lonely Sunday afternoon it may fit the emptiness in your somewhat lonely life. Maybe! There are some really funny moments and some interesting conversations that will make you think about your own life and relationships past and present but overall it’s not totally a must see movie. I enjoyed some of the photography and the music but for the most part the best parts of the story are that between Kingsley and Clarkson while she is learning to drive. Being a fan of Kingsley he does not disappoint and Clarkson really does wonders with her role. The rest of the cast have minimal screen time but definitely help to move this story along otherwise it would have really dragged. Albeit a well written and directed film it plays a bit slow but is still worth 2 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch.

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