As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other's company they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel.
Wendy (Patrician Clarkson), a self-absorbed New York book critic, is shocked to reality by the sudden end of her marriage. Always dependent on her husband for driving, she must now learn to take the wheel on her own. Her instructor Darwan (Ben Kingsley) is a Sikh Indian who watches with alarm as his pupil falls apart at the seams. He himself is contemplating an arranged marriage with a woman he has never met. As these two lives intersect, both will change in unpredictable ways. Written by
Matt Salinger, who plays Peter, is the son of author J.D. Salinger and was coaxed out of acting retirement by director Isabel Coixet, who liked him so much that she put him her next movie as well. See more »
Slow down. Park there. Mr. Yampolsky, you have followed all the rules. You'll pass your test tomorrow, I'm sure of it. And after you get your license, I suspect you'll buy the biggest, fastest car, and throw all the rules out of the window.
It is not a joke. Remember driving is a freedom. I wish you to enjoy every kind of freedom... As long as you don't hurt someone. You promise me?
Okay, Mr. Singh.
Mr. Singh Tur.
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A very warm and straight-forward movie with very like-able characters and a wonderful perspective of human behavior
Isabel Coixet's light hearted, soulfully intimate low-key comedy drama is a lovely excursion.
Wendy(Patricia Clarkson) is a sharp-tongued book critic, struggling to take control of her life, as her husband walks out of their 21 year old marital life for a younger woman. Her only daughter is off at Vermont.
Darwan(Ben Kingsley) is a cab driver and driving instructor, who has a calm dignifying character underneath his authoritative exterior. He is proud of his U.S citizenship as well as his cultural heritage. Darwan is portrayed as an honest, hard-working Sikh immigrant from India.
Having never been behind the wheels, Wendy decides to get her driver's license and take control of her life. The clash of personalities lead to scenes of comic tension and witty comedy. Wendy is dumbstruck and tries to understand how Darwan's marriage with Jasleen, a woman he never met before works. The plot also takes time to show the struggles of Jasleen(Sarita Choudhary) to adapt to a new country and husband who is struggling to express his emotions.
As the platonic friendship between the culturally diverse lead duo develops, they help each other to move forward with their lives. "The driver's biggest problem is everyone else. You cant always trust people to behave properly" says Darwan. Ain't that true in real life as well?
Learning to Drive takes its time developing characters, which is its major strength. Its a very warm and straight-forward movie with very like-able characters and a wonderful perspective of human behavior.
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