Review: ‘Two for Tea’

Writer-helmer Isabel Gardela's middling debut feature, "Two for Tea," mines cross-cultural romantic comedy from the clashing values between a young Spanish author and a Muslim Indian guest worker. Results are agreeable enough, but pic's indifference toward developing character or thematic depth ultimately renders it inconsequential. Offshore, best prospects lie in tube sales to Spanish-speaking territories.

Writer-helmer Isabel Gardela’s middling debut feature, “Two for Tea,” mines cross-cultural romantic comedy from the clashing values between a young Spanish author and a Muslim Indian guest worker. Results are agreeable enough, but pic’s indifference toward developing character or thematic depth ultimately renders it inconsequential. Offshore, best prospects lie in tube sales to Spanish-speaking territories.

Pretty, irresponsible Gabi (Nuria Prims) has returned from Madrid to her native Barcelona, where she accepts an award for writing an erotic novel whose thinly veiled truths have enraged her various friends and conquests. She’s bored with sex, drugs and drinking, but seems to consider them all necessary “research”; predictably, this causes strife when she’s wooed by Jalil (Zack Qureshi), a florist from India whose religious beliefs decree strict behavioral standards for a prospective mate. Though approach isn’t farcical, it isn’t very serious either, with little real insight as immature Gabi and secretive, possibly dishonest Jalil conduct their affair. Pic is pleasantly paced, cast and mounted, with diverting support-character subplots, but the trite script fritters away a promising premise. Dialogue is equal parts Castilian and Catalan.

— Dennis Harvey

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