Home Movie Reviews ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?’ – Review
‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?’ – Review

‘What’s Love Got to Do with It?’ – Review


There’s nothing better than a good rom-com to get you grooving in your seat and having fun with your friends! Whether you’re looking for that perfect girls’ night out or you want to treat your Mum, director What’s Love Got to Do with It? is an adorable, heartfelt and timely film about a little thing called love, and audiences are sure to fall head over heels for it.

From the producers of ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ and ‘Love, Actually’, What’s Love Got To Do With It is a passionate and heartfelt tale set between London and Lahore, and follows filmmaker Zoe (Lily James) who decides to document her childhood best friend Kazim’s (Shazad Latif) arranged marriage to his foreign bride from Pakistan, and who just might learn a thing or two about love along the way.

Regarded as one of England’s most important and talented filmmakers, Shekhar Kapur trades his attention away from austere epics such as Elizabeth, instead focusing his energy on this charming film. Relationships, community and love take centre stage in What’s Love Got to Do with It? and Kapur joins forces with socialite turned screenwriter Jemima Khan, and their dual vision makes for an impressive watch.

While he may have waded into rom-com territory, Kapur keeps his attention on the characters and strikes the right tonal balance between joy and drama. Khan’s screenplay is incredibly smart and textured in its composition, drawing on her own life experiences, along with her friendship with the late Princess Diana, and she’s able to deconstruct the myths of love and get to the heart of this complex emotion. The result is a sharp and extremely timely picture that scratches both your curiosity and tickles your funny bone.

Stepping into What’s Love Got to Do with It? is Lily James as Zoe, a young filmmaker who is hopelessly lost when it comes to the art of love and she’s in for quite a lesson when her childhood best friend Kaz (Shazad Latiff) decides to seek an arranged marriage. As of late, James has been stretching her talents as a performer with a series of complex and challenging characters and Zoe fits the bill. Impulsive, flirtatious and somewhat of a hot mess when it comes to love and relationships, Zoe undergoes quite a journey to learn to love herself in this picture and screenwriter Jemima Khan explores and deconstructs notions of the ‘fairy tale romance’ that our society thrives on with her character. Zoe offers a very interesting point of view from which to frame the story and her performance stays with you as an audience member the whole way through.

Standing opposite James in What’s Love Got to Do with It? is Shazad Latiff as her childhood best friend Kaz. And he gives Zoe a hell of a shock when he confirms that he’s seeking an arranged marriage in Pakistan, and Zoe comes along for the ride. With his classic good looks, easygoing personality and effortless charm, Latiff will melt many hearts with his performance in this picture, but he also has to face some serious drama, courtesy of Kapur’s direction. Love is no easy thing and his journey to happiness is a complex one, and it will get audiences all stirred up.

What’s Love Got to Do with It? finds plenty of fun from its supporting cast and two of the standouts appear in Asim Chaudhry and the one and only Emma Thompson. Chaudhry takes on the role of Mo the Matchmaker, a dating guru in the Pakistani community in London who thrives on his ability to bring people together, and he’s a real scene stealer when he jumps on screen. Then there’s Thompson, a national treasure, as Zoe’s free-spirited mother Cath. Not only is she an absolute hoot in the role, but she offers up an equal mix of laughs and honesty with her performance.

As an experience, What’s Love Got to Do with It? is a bright, energetic and fun watch. While it does strike an excellent balance between being amusing and serious, it is at all times entertaining and audiences looking for a good time at the movies will be well rewarded. Khan has a deep understanding of the modern clash of cultures of Britain and Pakistan, and his attention to detail makes for a film that wraps you up in its ambience and gives you a ride to remember.

Love is a serious topic that has its own unique meaning for each and every one of us. And this theme is at the very heart of What’s Love Got to Do with It?. It’s a film packed to the brim with incredible joy and audiences find themselves utterly enchanted by this picture.

Image: StudioCanal