Sometimes it can be feast or famine in terms of a director’s presence, because Hollywood can be a cruel development mistress. But Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet’s work life is fecund at the moment. Earlier this year, she unveiled her Berlin Film Festival-opener “Nobody Wants The Night,” and later this summer she’s got film number two, “Learning To Drive.” The latter film reunites her with Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson, two of the stars of her 2008 movie, “Elegy.” But where that film was a dark picture about adultery, love, and the complications of relationships, “Learning To Drive” has a decidedly more cheery bent. It’s a feel-good, coming-of-middle-age comedy about a mismatched pair who help each other overcome life’s road blocks. Here’s the official synopsis:
Wendy is a fiery Manhattan author whose husband has just left her for a younger woman; Darwan is a soft-spoken taxi driver from India on the verge of an arranged marriage. As Wendy sets out to reclaim her independence, she runs into a barrier common to many lifelong New Yorkers: she’s never learned to drive. When Wendy hires Darwan to teach her, her unraveling life and his calm restraint seem like an awkward fit. But as he shows her how to take control of the wheel, and she coaches him on how to impress a woman, their unlikely friendship awakens them to the joy, humor, and love in starting life anew.
Co-starring Grace Gummer, “Learning To Drive” opens in theaters August 21. Watch the first trailer below.