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Martin Starr

In 'Amira & Sam,' Martin Starr and Dina Shihabi add charm

In 'Amira & Sam,' Martin Starr and Dina Shihabi add charm

For his first feature, writer-director Sean Mullin throws a potentially unwieldy mix of story elements into the rom-com blender: post-military life, immigration, free-market capitalism and showbiz dreams. That "Amira & Sam" manages to be engaging and unforced for a good portion of its running time is a considerable feat. Chief among its pluses is the low-key warmth of leads Martin Starr and Dina Shihabi. As two people out of sync with go-go Manhattan — the movie is set in summer 2008, just before Wall Street implodes — they help the story get past its more loaded passages, if not entirely overcome them. And though Mullin isn't light enough on his feet to make...

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