Canadian dot-com mogul Rahul (Rahul Khanna) is constantly being pressured by his Indian family to find the right girl and settle down. Problem is, he enjoys his freedom too much, not to mention his strictly verboten white girlfriend (Jessica Pare). So when he meets a likely, if somewhat feisty, lass (Lisa Ray) in a bar, he hires her to pose as his fiance.

Ya gotta wonder: Do Indian crossover films ever have another premise besides that forced family marriage thing? The most prominent recent entry in this ever more crowded field was Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding, which, if decidedly less than subtle, was a downright masterpiece compared to this inept farce. There's nothing fresh or sparkling about Deepa Mehta's ethnic update of George Bernard Shaw's ancient Pygmalion gambit in Bollywood/Hollywood. Mehta, known primarily for heavy-weather dramas like Earth and Fire, has no discernible comedic gift and the film is a contrived contraption, with more than a hint of desperation in its clueless anxiousness to be an audience winner along the lines of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. 'Bolly, Holly, Holly, Bolly: different roots, same tree" is one of the wittier lines in the script, which should give some idea of its quality. The flat, inescapable musical sequences, even with the famed Sandeep Chowta's contributions, fatally fail to charm as well.

The actors, including veteran Dina Pathak in her final film appearance, perform with the kind of uncertainty and pushiness that stems from insufficient directorial guidance (especially in farce). A screamingly bad, screamingly gay character (Ranjit Chowdhry), who shows up as the ugliest drag queen in screen history, really feels like an audience sop.

-David Noh