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Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero 

Wednesday, Jun 22 2016
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Jonathan Kesselman's Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero is an amusing and highly relevant political comedy. Jimmy (co-writer Maz Jobrani) is an inept Tehran traffic cop who immigrates to Los Angeles in hopes of becoming a Steve McQueen-esque hero. His dreams seem to be coming true when rich industrialist JP Monroe (John Heard) hires Jimmy as a private investigator to gather proof that JP's archetypally sexy blond wife Marcy (Deanna Russo) is having an affair, but in fact JP is using Jimmy as a patsy to exploit Islamophobia and start a war with Iran.Wackiness ensues as the none-too-bright Jimmy is assisted against his will by his adoring distant cousin Leila (Sheila Vand), while a neoconservative pundit has branded him a terrorist due to a viral video in which Jimmy totally accidentally burned the American flag. Jobrani is an affable presence who clearly has great love for the screen clowns of the past, and his script is clever and errs more on the side of laughs than shocks — give or take a few too many gay jokes — but Sheila Vand steals Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero as the vivacious Leila. After the smoldering, dark-eyed performance as the chador-wearing vampire in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, it turns out a girl also has fantastic comedic chops.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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