Lebanese American Movie: DETROIT UNLEADED is a slice-of-life romantic comedy that centers around a 24-hour gas station in Detroit.
A fresh take on boy-meets-girl comedy set in Detroit. Sami (E.J. Assi) runs his immigrant family’s gas station with his cousin Mike (Mike Batayeh, “Breaking Bad”), a charismatic hustler with dreams of expanding into an unleaded empire. More than just a pit stop for late-night gas and rolling papers, their station is where a steady stream of unforgettable and often hilarious customers flow through. When a gorgeous “up-do girl” named Najlah (Nada Shouhayib) comes to deliver cheap long-distance phone cards, Sami quickly falls for her from behind the bulletproof glass. Afraid her overprotective brother Fadi (Steven Soro) will disapprove, Najlah begins an under-the-counter romance with Sami, making his shift anything but routine.
Made and cast in Detroit, the film stars first-time feature actors EJ Assi and Nada Shouhayib, along with Actor/Comedian Mike Batayeh (Breaking Bad, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan), Mary Assel, Steven Soro, and Lebanese film and television Star Akram El-Ahmar.
Victoria Film Festival Review: Detroit Unleaded
A charming feel good comedy, Detroit Unleaded, tells the story of Sami who works behind the bulletproof glass of a 24-hour gas station in Detroit. Sami is caught between the cultures of contemporary America and traditional Arab-America as he struggles to balance family obligations with aspirations for a better life. Directed by Rola Nashef, the movie explores race relations, generational differences and economic strife with amazing wit and humour.
Beautifully shot and superbly acted, this movie will definitely leave you smiling. I guarantee you will fall in love with every quirky, colourful character who visits this gas station.
If you are looking for something fun, then this movie is a must-see. I give this film a really enthusiastic “thumbs up.”
Review by Kathleen Gilbert, Commissioner of the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission