“A Simple Wedding,” which easily could have — and perhaps more aptly — been called “My Big Fat Persian Wedding,” begins amusingly, driven by the engagingly hapless Nousha (a game Tara Grammy), an L.A. housing attorney who tries but can’t adhere to the cultural traditions of her Iranian American parents (Shohreh Aghdashloo, Houshang Touzie) about love and marriage.
But when Nousha falls for the unlikely Alex (Christopher O’Shea), an offbeat artist she secretly moves in with (in what feels like record time, even for a movie), Nousha’s parents are more worried about their daughter’s honor than that her beau is not Iranian. So a wedding is instantly set into motion and, of course, it’s a recipe for disaster, one that plays out in some contrived and implausible ways.
The film’s second act ends too soon, leaving an overlong third act more focused on the predictable romance between Alex’s divorced mother (Rita Wilson, a producer on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) and Nousha’s visiting uncle (Maz Jobrani) than on the Nousha-Alex dynamic.
To its credit, the script, by director Sara Zandieh and Stephanie Wu, works hard at inclusivity. Unfortunately, while a lesbian couple is fun, the gay men feel like a throwback, and Alex’s bisexuality, which could have provided an intriguing and credible complication, goes nowhere.
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Playing: Starts Feb. 14, Lumiere Music Hall, Beverly Hills; Laemmle Town Center 5, Encino; Mission Grove 18, Riverside; also on VOD