"Touch of Pink": MacLachlan does a suave job as Cary Grant

There's something downright impertinent about even attempting an onscreen impersonation of the great Cary Grant — surely, somewhere in movie heaven, Grant is raising an impeccably arched eyebrow. But Kyle MacLachlan does the job so well, in the sweet-natured romantic comedy "Touch of Pink," that it becomes an affectionate homage.

Doesn't everyone, as Grant famously remarked long ago, want to be Cary Grant? Would that we could all do it as well as MacLachlan. In paisley dressing gowns, perfectly knotted ascots or "Gunga Din" khaki, he finds Grant's trademark singsong rhythms and peerless ease. Watching him, you might start thinking about what other movies might be improved by a drop-in visit from Cary Grant. (I can make a long list, for this summer alone.)

MacLachlan's performance is the highlight of an otherwise pleasant but predictable comedy, reminiscent of Ang Lee's "The Wedding Banquet." A young South-Asian Canadian, Alim (Jimi Mistry), lives in London with his charming English boyfriend, Giles (Kristen Holden-Ried), and spends time chatting with his imaginary pal, Cary Grant, who advises him on matters of style and deportment. When Alim's very traditional Muslim mother, Nuru (Suleka Mathew), comes to visit from Canada, however, Alim must pretend to be straight. Complications ensue, as they inevitably do in this sort of movie, and the entire cast gets transported back to Toronto for Alim's cousin's elaborate Muslim wedding, where a perfect Cary Grant-style ending is crafted for everyone.

Movie review

Showtimes and trailer

"Touch of Pink," with Jimi Mistry, Kyle MacLachlan, Kristen Holden-Ried, Suleka Mathew, Brian George. Written and directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid. 92 minutes. Rated R for sexual content and brief language. Harvard Exit.
Writer/director Ian Iqbal Rashid, making his feature debut, shows himself to be more gifted at crafting funny lines than in creating characters: Nuru, in particular, goes through a transformation that, while heartwarming, isn't particularly believable. But "Touch of Pink" is an agreeable diversion, particularly for Grant fans — it's a movie haunted by a wonderfully debonair ghost.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com