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Thursday
Sep282017

Signature Move (2017)

Jennifer Reeder’s Signature Move is an enjoyable yet frustrating triumph of performance over substance. Co-writer Fawzia Mirza stars as Zaynab, a closeted attorney who puts up her Muslim mother, Parveen (Shabana Azmi), following the death of her father. In the same week that Zaynab begins taking wrestling lessons from a former champion luchadora, she also meets Alma (Sari Sanchez), a Hispanic book store owner who is, herself, the daughter of a former champion luchadora (not the same one). I was disappointed that Reeder sidestepped some meaty cultural questions in favor of a basic-cable love story, circa 2005 (Parveen’s zero-hour acceptance of her daughter’s sexuality is as rushed as it unbelievable). This might be forgivable if the writing were at least funny or insightful beyond what audiences should expect from the premise. Luckily, the principle cast’s vulnerability and charisma make up for a greater artistic signature that doesn’t quite feel hand-written.

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