Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: A look at a New York Indian-American family in which one of the daughters is a lesbian and decides to have a baby.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1999
Duration: 92 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Nisha Ganatra
Writer: Susan Carnival, Nisha Ganatra
Starring: Nisha Ganatra, Jill Hennessy, Sakina Jaffrey, Madhur Jaffrey, Nick Chinlund

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Chutney PopcornMeenu (Madhur Jaffrey) has two daughters, Reena (Nisha Ganatra) and Sarita (Sakina Jaffrey), New York Indian-American women with very different lives. Sarita is the perfect daughter, fulfilling her mother’s dreams of getting married and having children, while Reena is a lesbian and considered a bit flaky.

Reena’s girlfriend Lisa is played by Jill Hennessy of ‘Law and Order’ and ‘Crossing Jordan’ fame. When Sarita is unable to have a child, Reena offers to bear it for her sister, using a turkey baster with her brother-in-law’s donation. Against their mother’s wishes, Reena does manage to get pregnant with Lisa’s help.

Then Reena decides to have the baby and raise it, rather than giving it to her sister. Lisa freaks out and leaves, feeling tricked into a family commitment she didn’t agree to. Sarita is angry and feels like Reena is being her usual selfish self. But, predictably, all is well, but not perfect. Lisa comes back. Mom and Reena come together over the impending birth of a grandchild. (Was this Reena’s major motivation for having the child?) Sarita learns to live with it all, although not happy with everything.

Interesting Indian elements. Very uneven performances from the actors (especially Reena and Lisa’s lesbian friends). Ganatra also directed, but only has her moments in the acting department. As might be expected, Hennessy out acts just about everyone except Madhur Jaffrey as the very entertaining mother. (AB)