Love Vs Arranged

Headlined by the always intriguing Lily James, What’s Love Got to Do With It? is a sufficiently pleasant romantic comedy exploring a sticky subject for most Westerners… arranged marriages. A British doctor from a traditional Pakistani household decides upon an arranged marriage to a woman he’s never met, allowing his childhood friend to film the process for a documentary. East meets West in this sensitive film exploring love and marriage from different cultural attitudes.

Documentary filmmaker Zoe (Lily James) grew up living in London next door to Kaz (Shazad Latif) and his lovable Pakistani family. Her eccentric mother Cath (Emma Thompson) treats the neighbors as dear family. A very eligible bachelor, everyone is taken by surprise when Kaz announces he’s decided upon a marriage arranged by his traditional Pakistani Muslim parents.

What’s Love Got to Do With It? is charming mostly thanks to Lily James’ innate appeal

Making the concept more palatable for Western ears, the arrangement is now called an “assisted” marriage in some circles. The notion of two adults being told who they are going to marry seems almost alien for those raised in the “free” West and the film puts its best foot forward explaining the benefits without sugarcoating the many downsides. That conflict actually lies at the heart of What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Filming Kaz and seeing his struggles, Zoe’s own relationship troubles reveal new romantic potential on her winding love journey. What’s Love Got to Do With It? isn’t quite your standard romantic dramedy. The romance itself is often an afterthought, playing second fiddle to poking fun at the cultural differences between the West and Kaz’s Pakistani background. Emma Thompson hams it up for laughs as Zoe’s mother, a carefree spirit who only wants the best for her daughter.

Aiming mostly for a fun and largely harmless time, the occasionally delightful film manages avoiding the more serious implications of arranged marriages while exploring Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage. Lily James provides a sweet performance, if lacking the outright passion of cinema’s greatest rom-coms. There’s not much heat between the leads, more an indictment on the screenplay’s comedic focus than either Lily James or Shazad Latif. One sub-plot is sprung on audiences at the last minute, a somewhat sloppy conclusion tacked on for emotional impact.

Heartfelt and sincere, What’s Love Got to Do With It? is charming mostly thanks to Lily James’ innate appeal in a role which suits her acting talents. She’s extremely likable as Zoe and it’s easy feeling her dilemma as Kaz becomes engaged to a woman from Pakistan he’s never physically met.

The cross-cultural romp has its eyes firmly set on the British market and mostly succeeds in those rather safe aims. Rarely going for home runs, sometimes hitting for singles is the smarter play. Studios are so gun-shy about rom-coms finding an audience today the cultural wrinkles give it just enough spice for a nice time.


The 2022 production exudes a bright, saturated color palette highlighting the vivid Pakistani wedding party. Shout Studios’ handles the disc, a highly pristine transfer taken from a digital intermediate shot on ARRI Alexa cameras with exacting depth and resolution. The 2.39:1 presentation is incredibly crisp with a lovely contrast and deep black levels.

The main feature runs 109 minutes on a BD-50, encoded in adequately transparent AVC. Unfiltered fine detail and texture produce high-quality video in line with big-budget Hollywood fare.


Outside of select scenes with a livelier atmosphere, the movie is primarily driven by steady dialogue. The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio provides sufficient bass and an expansive soundstage when necessary, most prominently at the wedding party. Dynamics and extension are solid, offering cleanly recorded music in a lightly immersive surround mix.

Mercury Prize-nominated composer Nitin Sawhney created the music for the film with British-Pakistani record producer, DJ, songwriter, and musician Naughty Boy, who brought his production and writing skills to the soundtrack alongside Joy Crookes. The film features an original song by Naughty Boy called “Mahi Sona (The Wedding Song)” with a special vocal performance from star Lily James. Kanika Kapoor and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are also featured on the soundtrack with Rahat appearing in the film itself.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font inside the scope presentation. A secondary 2.0 DTS-HD MA audio track is available.


Shout Studios provides a featurette and trailer for the Region A-coded release. Initial pressings include a slipcover.

The Making Of Featurette (14:32 in HD) – A behind the scenes featurette with writer Jemina Khan explaining how her own background living in Pakistan informed the film, not to mention director and cast interviews discussing their own takes.

Trailer (02:42 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

What's Love Got to Do With It?
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A fluffy, predictable Rom-com confection about the hazards of an arranged marriage for a British man of Pakistani descent

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