Locarno 2013 – Piazza Grande
Will Wilder is sulking because it seems his family and friends have forgotten his 40th birthday. And now everyone believes that he’s dead after his stolen car is involved in a bad accident. Life couldn’t be worse for a talented New York actor already frustrated by his demeaning role as the green Bad Luck Bunny on a children’s TV show.
Will decides to fulfill a fantasy and attend his own funeral to find out what everyone truly thinks of him. With the aid of his best friend Rad, an Indian restaurant-owner, Will becomes Vijay Singh, a handsome and gentlemanly Sikh, complete with turban and beard.
Surprisingly, Will’s beautiful wife Julia takes a romantic interest in sexy stranger Vijay. Protected by his disguise, Will soon ends up courting his own widow! As Vijay, Will learns some embarrassing truths about himself and he is confronted with a unique problem: he likes Vijay more than he ever liked himself. And so does everyone else!
Starring Moritz Bleibtreu, Patricia Arquette and Danny Pudi in the new romantic comedy from the director of IRINA PALM and RASHEVSKI’S TANGO.
A light romantic comedy about the midlife crisis of a 40 year-old actor, Sam Garbarski’s new film conforms to all the rules of the genre, including the cardinal one that making sense is irrelevant as long as it evades the potholes on its way. A European production through and through, but taking place in the ultimate melting pot of New York where every minority feels at home, this English-spoken romp shown at the Locarno Film Festival’s Piazza Grande is the kind of easy fare that should have no problem finding its way into European screens… Moritz Bleibtreu and Patricia Arquette smartly never seem to take it too seriously; Danny Pudi gives a lively performance as the dedicated friend in need; Moni Moshonov and Jeannie Berlin as Will’s in-laws offer a sympathetic touch of Jewish humour as the concerned parents worried about their daughter’s future and veteran German stars Hanna Schygulla and Michael Gwisdek turn up, as Will’s own parents, with an amusing tribute to the dropouts of an age gone by.
— Dan Fainaru, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL
A down-on-his-luck German actor in New York gets to play the role of his life as a much-improved -- albeit turban-wearing -- version of himself in Vijay and I, from German-born director Sam Garbarski (Irina Palm). Indie darling Patricia Arquette stars as a widowed therapist who falls for an exotic Sikh who, in reality, is her dead husband in disguise, with Garbarski gently mixing elements from classic romantic comedies and comedies of errors… Bleibtreu and Arquette are appealing and play their roles straight, which is essential in an old-fashioned comedy like this where characters are unable to see through a person’s obvious disguise until the plot demands it. Garbarski also manages to inject some of his trademark Jewish humor, especially in a scene with Julia’s Jewish parents (Jeannie Berlin, Moni Moshonov)…
— Boyd Van Hoeij, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER