Americanish – Missing the Pointish

Americanish - Missing the Pointish 1Americanish is about three Muslim women negotiating the dating scene. This is a rich vein to tap but, unfortunately, the film is so packed with clichés, and so bereft of conflict, predictability lurks at every corner. The acting is superb but that’s never enough.

The Story

Two sisters, Sameen (Aizzah Fatima) and Maryam (Salena Qureshi) live with their mother, Khala (Lillete Dubey) in Queens, New York.

Maryam is still in high school and has a crush on one of the other students. Sameen works for a marketing company and is planning to get her own place to live.

Their cousin, Ameera (Shenaz Treasury), arrives from Pakistan in pursuit of a rich husband and Khala assists her niece with her quest. She makes it clear to her two daughters that it’s time for them to start similar endeavors of their own.

A Worrysome Plot

The first stumbling block this film encounters is that, whenever one of the girls meet their ‘Mr. Right’, a neon light flashes This Is the One!

It really is that obvious.

It doesn’t help that all the ‘Mr. Rights’ are woefully undeveloped and they all simply go along with whatever is convenient for the plot.

This is particularly irritating when a hot American business owner agrees to marry a woman he’s never even been on a date with. All things are possible, of course, but if the audience doesn’t get an explanation for something unlikely, it just seems silly.

Meandering Themes

While Maryam and Ameera’s storylines stick to romance, Sameen’s goes off at a tangent. New themes about race, careers and ethics emerge that have nothing to do with her own love interest or, in fact, anything else in the film.

This disconnect is a signature of the writing and the reason there are three separate endings. Sitting the characters around the same table for the final scene is clunky and doesn’t solve anything.

Those Endings

This movie is being promoted as the ‘First Muslim RomCom Directed by an American Muslim Woman.’ With so many prolific American Muslim female directors around, this is a sweeping claim.

But what can’t be disputed is that RomComs, by definition, have to be about a romance between two main characters. As Americanish is definitely not that, perhaps the filmmakers should redefine its genre as ‘RomCom-ish.’

americanish movie
Americanish movie poster.

What Other Critics Said

Many other critics praised Americanish for a fresh perspective and engaging storytelling. Were they watching the same movie? Do they understand what RomCom means?

Some lauded “Americanish” for a unique blend of humor and heartfelt moments, highlighting its departure from traditional narratives often depicted in romantic comedies. Apparently, the film’s exploration of cultural expectations and personal ambitions resonated deeply. They said it offers a nuanced look at the immigrant experience in America.

Sadly, Rotten Tomatoes reflects a positive reception, where the film received a 73% Tomatometer ranking, indicating broad approval. But there were only 11 reviews from less serious reviewers, rather than 50 or more, indicating serious reviewers.

Avi Offer, the NYC Movie Guru , who was clearly watching closely, said it was “A clunky, cheesy and contrived misfire.”

Other reviewers were easily pleased. Nuha Hassan(Film Cred) said “Zawahry’s Americanish has so many elements that elevate the story and bring in a positive ending for all of the characters.” Monique Jones, at Common Sense Media, praised it as “A heartfelt, diverse film about love and life…”

Some other reviews commended the director for her skillful balance of cultural authenticity and universal relatability, making “Americanish” a culturally significant film. No.


Directed by Iman Zawahry.

Written by Iman Zawahry and Aizzah Fatima.

Produced by Roy Wol, Studio Autonomous
New York, NY 10001

Watch the Americanish trailer.