Today I went and watched Learning to Drive with my mum. Due to a lack of other topics to write about, you’ll get a full review now!
First, here are some basics:
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length: 90 minutes
Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Grace Gummer, Jake Weber, Sarita Choudhury
Director: Isabel Coixet
After 21 years, Wendy’s marriage with Ted is over and taxi driver Darwan has a first row seat for their dramatic break-up. It may seem like they will never meet again, but Wendy’s and Darwan’s paths are supposed to cross again. After finally deciding to get a driving license, Wendy takes lessons with Darwan and they become fast friends. While Wendy tries to figure out how to live by herself again, Darwan needs to figure out how to make his arranged wife feel comfortable in a foreign land with a different language.
First I want to say that it is ridiculous how much of myself I found in Wendy’s character. At some point my mum just started randomly laughing (at a scene that really wasn’t funny) because it reminded her of me so much. Okay, so I never had a failed marriage or fell for my drivers ed teacher, but her relationship with driving a car = 100% me!!! Also, Wendy is a book critic and often looses herself in the stories she reads and hides behind her computer screen, I can somewhat see a resemblance there as well. And then she is afraid of heights, which I am too! It was freaky!
Okay now on to the real review: It’s a pretty simple story of two very different lives intersecting at just the right moment. Clarkson and Kingsley play off each other perfectly and their dialogue is hilarious a lot of the time. I like how their friendship evolves and never feels forced. I am also very happy with the outcome of the movie!
[SPOILER] It would have been weird if they actually got together and if Darwan had cheated on his wife. I don’t think that Wendy or Darwan could’ve really lived with that choice. [SPOILER OFF]
Yet, the movie also strikes some more serious tones. I was sometimes confused by Wendy’s daydreams but other than that it was a really enjoyable movie that struck the right balance between laughter and seriousness. In the end I probably wouldn’t really call it a Romantic Comedy though, because I feel like that’s too mainstream a term for this movie.
Fazit: I enjoyed the movie, but I think it is a bit forgettable.