Nina's Heavenly Delights, directed by Pratibha Parmar, is a slight romantic comedy with a thinly-cooked sauce of dysfunctional family drama drizzled on top. The romance is between two women, the family happens to be Indian and the setting is Glasgow, Scotland, but there's not much else to distinguish it from dozens of other sincere, feel-good films promoting the idea that if you would just follow your heart, everything would be alright.
The drama comes first. Twenty-something Nina Shah (Shelley Conn) returns to Glasgow from London, where she fled for a reason and for a period of time not initially explained. Her father, an award-winning chef at The New Taj, the family-owned restaurant, has just died. Nina is met warmly by her queenly friend Bobbi (Ronny Jhutti) and coolly by her mother (Veena Sood), brother Kary (Atta Yaqub) and teenage sister Priya (Zoe Henretty). Nina is dismayed to learn that her father gambled away a half-share of the restaurant, which is now controlled by old school chum Lisa (Laura Fraser), and balks at the decision to sell the restaurant to Raj (Art Malik), who owns a competing Indian restaurant in town. Lisa wants the money and Nina's family wants to move on, but Nina will not listen to reason.
She insists that her father would never want to sell The New Taj and backs up her claim with proof that he secretly entered a national cooking competition, intent on winning the trophy for "Best of the West Curry" for an unprecedented third time. She convinces Lisa that winning the competition will increase the value of the restaurant, thus securing a better deal from Raj. Nina embarks on a mission to touch up her cooking skills, learned at her father's side, and honor his memory in her own way.