Before high-kicking her way to the big time in the hit TV series Heroes, Ali Larter made do with bit parts in Legally Blonde and Final Destination. With Hollywood a tough nut to crack she headed east to take on the leading role in Marigold, a bouncy Bollywood meets Hollywood romantic comedy about (what else) a B-grade American actress who travels to India to star in a career-boosting movie. Despite boasting bags of colour, energy and top Bollywood actor Salman Khan, this cross cultural concoction falls halfway between the genres.
Aspiring American actress Marigold Lexington (Larter) find herself stranded in Goa with no luggage or support when financing for her low budget Hollywood movie falls apart. To pay for her return trip she gets herself cast in a Hindi musical as the novelty foreign dancer, and enlists help from choreographer Prem (Khan). The two inevitably fall in love in true Bollywood fashion, while lip-synching their way through a dozen songs. But will our Indo-American lovebirds stay together after the revelation of Prem's real identity, and Marigold's surprise boyfriend (Ian Bohen)? Or will the UN have to step in to diffuse the cultural misunderstandings about to erupt?
"LARTER IMPRESSES AS THE FEISTY MARIGOLD"
Clearly a fan of India's musical cinema, writer/director Willard Carroll deserves a pat on the back for making a decent attempt at marrying Hollywood and Bollywood in Marigold. Sadly his fusion falls short of the mark in the crucial areas of music and casting. Shanker Ehsaan and Loy's soundtrack is surprisingly dull and unmemorable. Khan's American twang and cool attitude must have made him seem the right choice on paper to pair opposite Larter, who impresses as the feisty Marigold. But his nerves clearly get the better of him, and he mumbles his way through his English dialogue. The result is a fun, but flat rom-com.
Marigold is out in the UK on 17th Aug 2007.