Room to Rent
Time Out saysUnworldly, experience-hungry and penniless, Ali (Taghmaoui), a would-be writer, is let loose among the fleshpots and bizarre denizens of the emphatically evoked 'Arab quarter' of Edgware Road. It's not a world average Londoners would instantly recognise, meaning they have to view Ali's haunts, abodes and contacts from his perspective. The sexual gusto displayed by wealthy middle-aged French 'lover' Vivienne, the Monroe obsession of his friend Lina (Lewis), the streetwise cynicism of his pal Ahmed, who tries to fix him a fake bride for visa purposes, and the ridiculous formality of the traditional dress he's required to wear as a nightclub waiter are merely amusing examples of the mad, eccentric world that is London. If the oversimplified characters can be put down to directorial inexperience, less forgivable is the unrelenting tone of forced optimism and the seeming acceptance of Ali's degree of self-delusion.