Their stories revealed in a series of short scenes, the film opens with Wendy hysterically following her husband into his getaway taxi hailed just after he told her he wanted to end their 21-year marriage, with Darwan, the taxi driver witnessing the anger and hurt Wendy displays from his rear-view mirror.
The next scene establishes the relationship between Wendy and her daughter Tasha (Grace Gummer) who attends an upstate New York Agricultural school, too far away for Wendy, her mom, to visit using public transportation. Having lived her life in New York City, with subways, busses and taxis to get around, Wendy had no need to drive, and her husband always did the driving, anyway. So Wendy decides to take driving lessons with, who else, Darwan, the Sikh taxi driver who also works as a driving instructor.
During these driving lessons, Darwan imparts his Sikh philosophy to keep Wendy focused on the road. Wendy, in turn, advises him on what a woman wants in regard to romance when Darwan is about to be married to a Sikh woman, his sister still in India, has arranged for him.
The movie ends with Wendy confidently driving on her own to visit her daughter and Darwan reaching over to his new bride with a gentle touch and encouraging smile.
Having grown up in Manhattan, I, too, did not learn to drive until my middle age, so Wendy’s panic over where to look when in heavy traffic, going over a bridge for the first time, how to parallel park, and all the other requirements to be a safe driver, gave the dialogue and situations authenticity. However, the few awkward moments and well-timed facial expressions did not make this a comedy, just an opportunity to see Ben Kingsley in yet another role he is perfectly suited for (turban, and all).