amyn kaderali's kissing cousins on dvd

The indie romantic comedy Kissing Cousins, written and directed by Amyn Kaderali, is now available on DVD. I caught this movie on the film festival circuit and had a really fun time. There's probably a good chance you missed the movie's miniscule theatrical run, so now's your chance to see what's up.

Samrat Chakrabarti stars as Amir, professional heartbreaker. As a "relationship termination specialist," he dumps people for a living, delivering bad news to unsuspecting lovers on behalf of disgruntled daters across Los Angeles. It's safe to say that Amir -- the last bachelor amongst his friends -- is cynical about love. Things hit a new low when his recently-engaged best friend tells him he can't be his Best Man due to bad "relationship karma."

When Amir returns to his family's home for Thanksgiving, he is reunited with his long-lost cousin, the charming and beautiful Zara, played by Rebecca Hazlewood, who decides to hitch a ride back to L.A. with him. As a joke, the two cousins pretend to be a couple in front of Amir's friends. It starts out innocently enough... but soon, the charade comes dangerously close to going too far. Could Amir be falling for his cousin? Gross, I know.

For what it is, Kissing Cousins is fun. It has some comic missteps, but overall, I enjoyed it. It's part of this current generation of Asian American cinema that is distinctly Asian American without having to directly or overtly address its Asian American-ness. Instead, it focuses its energy on being an offbeat romantic comedy, and for the most part, it succeeds.

Cousin thing aside, Samrat Chakrabarti and Rebecca Hazlewood are an attractive couple and their chemistry as Amir and Zara is great. The comedy goes to some uncomfortable, awkward places, and that's actually when it really works. Yes, call me a weirdo.

The rest of the cast is wonderful too. Unfortunately, there are way too many characters and waaaay too many little things going on. The wise-cracking grillin' guy. The Japanese exchange student. Urkel (yes, Jaleel White). There are like 47 characters in this movie, and I'm not quite sure all of them needed to be there.

The movie's out on DVD today from Cinema Libre. You can get it here or Amazon or Netflix or the usual places. For more information about Kissing Cousins, and to view the trailer, visit the website here.

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