The only possible reaction to an amateurish romance like "Shirin in Love" is: Do the filmmakers think we're all idiots?
Practically every scene in this tale about a glamorous, unhappily engaged Los Angeles book reviewer (Nazanin Boniadi) with an eye for the handsome son (Riley Smith) of a reclusive novelist (Amy Madigan) is an abject filmmaking lesson in the many ways to irk moviegoers: cardboard characters, dippy plotting, sentimental overkill and tortuous logic.
The thinly conceived Shirin is ostensibly meant to embody the kind of young, vivacious Iranian American member of the "Tehran-geles" community who finds it hard to balance cultural tradition with independence.
But writer-director Ramin Niami, in a feeble attempt to mix screwball comedy and Harlequin neo-gothic, treats everyone like a stereotype, most obnoxiously the clownish plastic surgeon fiancé (a mugging Maz Jobrani) and Shirin's scheming, overbearing Beverly Hills mom (Anahita Khalatbari), who wouldn't be out of place on "Shahs of Sunset."
Boniadi, who was memorable last season as a CIA analyst on "Homeland," looks especially lost navigating Shirin's exhaustingly inconsistent emotional terrain: ditzy, then observant, then unthinking, then sweet, then inconsiderate, then you just don't care anymore.
"Shirin in Love." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes. At AMC Burbank Town Center 8, Laemmle's Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills and Laemmle Town Center 5 in Encino.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times