Movie Review

Reaching to make a connection

By Wesley Morris
Globe Staff / October 31, 2008
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Let's say you're out at dinner one night after a long day in advertising. Your girlfriend is blabbing on her phone while you do the same. You get another call. It's a customer service agent, ringing to inquire about thousands of dollars in suspicious charges on your credit card. Do you A) immediately get to the bottom of this problem or B) hang up on her?

If you're Granger Woodruff, you terminate the call, since resolving the situation means "The Other End of the Line" ends up being a five-minute ad for buyer's insurance instead of an interminable interracial, international, intercultural romantic comedy. Inter-what?

Oh, right: The customer service agent sits in a Mumbai, India, call center. Her name is Priya (Shriya Saran), and she has been promised for marriage to a local mama's boy. Granger (Jesse Metcalfe) lives in New York and can't stop thinking about Priya's fake American accent.

Bursting with attraction, she hightails it to San Francisco, where Granger is trying to win an account and Priya's cousin is getting married. As for the dramatic tension: He has no clue that she's the call center girl. Her family shows up. So does his girlfriend. They all leave "romantic" and "comedy" in the dust.

Watching Granger and Priya chase each other around a hotel like squirrels in a park, you wonder what these two see in each other. Saran, with her big eyes and sweet demeanor, seems like the cute girl in your study group who you're afraid to Facebook. It's mysterious what she could possibly get from Metcalfe, who's the guy you know is in your class because he always needs to borrow your notes.


THE OTHER END OF THE LINE Directed by: James Dodson

Written by: Tracey Jackson

Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Shriya Saran, and Larry Miller

At: Lawrence, Westborough

Running time: 106 minutes

Rated: PG-13 (some suggestive material)

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