There's more simmering on the backburner than scrumptious Indian food in "Nina's Heavenly Delights," a Glasgow-set quasi-fairy tale  incorporating a trio of cross-cultural romances (gay, lesbian, straight) en route to a televised curry competition.

There’s more simmering on the backburner than scrumptious Indian food in “Nina’s Heavenly Delights,” a Glasgow-set quasi-fairy tale  incorporating a trio of cross-cultural romances (gay, lesbian, straight) en route to a televised curry competition. Stereotypes abound, dialogue is conventional and pace scattered. Still, resulting stew is pleasant. Local color-drenched Sept. 29 release in the U.K. is the kind of venture critics often dislike and audiences often enjoy. The food is hotter than the implied sex, but gay fests may still be tempted.

Three years after Indo-Scottish Nina Shah (Shelley Conn) ditched fiance Sanjay (Raji James), she returns to Glasgow for her beloved father’s funeral. Dad’s curry palace may fall to rivals unless Nina excels in the “Best of the West” cooking finals. Nina and fellow chef Lisa (Laura Fraser) are soon using their tongues on more than recipes. Overt or covert, each member of ensemble cast craves something. “Forbidden” loves abound, right down to Nina’s little sister’s incongruous passion for Scottish Highland dance. Silly musical numbers, courtesy of Nina’s flamboyant Bollywood-obsessed drag queen friend Bobbi (Ronny Jhutti), add to the good-natured ambiance of the non-threatening transgressions.

Nina's Heavenly Delights

U.K.

Production

A Fortissimo Films presentation of a Scion Films, Scottish Screen, Kali Films, Priority Pictures production in association with Sky Movies. (International sales: Fortissimo Films, London.) Produced by Pratibha Parmar, Chris Atkins, Marion Pilowsky. Executive producers, Colin Leventhal, Margaret Matheson, Scott Meek. Directed by Pratibha Parmar. Screenplay, Andrea Gibb;

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Simon Dennis; editor, Mary Finlay; art director, Margaret Horspool; costume designer, Louise Allen; choreographer, Piers Gielgud; associate producers, Neil Chordia, Megan Davis. Reviewed at Chicago Film Festival (World Cinema), Oct. 16, 2006. (Also in Pusan Film Festival.) Running time: 96 MIN.

Cast

With: Shelley Conn, Laura Fraser, Raji James, Ronny Jhutti, Art Malik, Kulvinder Ghir, Veena Sood, Atta Yaqub, Zoe Henretty.
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