Despite its distinctive setting against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential campaign, “Politics of Love” is a paltry romantic comedy undercut by a screenplay that barely raises a chuckle and undistinguished direction by William Dear (“Harry and the Hendersons”). We’re a long way from Capra in this rickety tale of a mixed-race Barack Obama supporter falling in love with a black John McCain coordinator, surrounded by a lot of hooting, hollering and mugging. Limited theatrical window will rapidly close, with any potential coin scored in VOD and DVD.Returning home to Florida, Aretha (Mallika Sherawat) witnesses her African-American mother, Shirlee (Loretta Devine), separating from her Indian dad, Vijay (Gerry Bednob), and moving in with Aretha’s grandmother (Ruby Dee, who distinguishes herself among the actors by showing that less is more). Wanting to help at Dad’s restaurant, Aretha is drawn to the neighboring Obama campaign office, full of wacky types that, if taken seriously, would beg the question of how the Illinois senator ever won. Handsome Kyle (Brian White) may work for McCain, but he woos Aretha until he wins her over, with some ridiculous complications en route.
A Codeblack Entertainment/Warner Bros. Digital Distribution/Flickbag release of a Codeblack Entertainment presentation in association with Davic Holdings of a Nuclear Mango production in association with Split Image Pictures. Produced by Govino Menon, Vikram Singh Lamba, William Sees Keenan. Executive producer, Rakesh Rathore. Directed by William Dear. Screenplay, Gary Goldstein.
Camera (color, DV), Bryan Greenberg; editor, Edgar Burcksen; music, Levels Music Group; music supervisors, Dylan Berry, Jake Belnick; production designer, Rob Howeth; costume designer, Francine Jamison-Tanchuck. Reviewed at Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills, Aug. 26, 2011. Running time: 88 MIN.
Brian White, Mallika Sherawat, Loretta Devine, Gerry Bednob, Ruby Dee.