These days a good man is hard to find — someone who follows an ethical code that puts a high premium on honesty, who does not take advantage of others, and who refuses to rip off the government, even when people suggest he could. That's a description of Sam (Martin Starr), a well-adjusted Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.

He's not exactly an angel. Sometimes his righteous indignation rises up. For instance, he loses his job as a security guard at an upscale office building when a drunk young businessman urinates at the entrance way to the building and refuses to apologize. Sam locks him and his friends in the elevator while he cleans up the mess.

When Sam goes to visit Bassam (Laith Nakli), who had been the interpreter for his unit, he meets the Iraqi man's niece Amira (Dina Shihabi). She is distrustful of all American soldiers since her brother, also an interpreter, was killed in some crossfire. Even when she learns that Sam speaks Arabic, she wants nothing to do with him.

But, despite their unpleasant first encounter with each other, Sam and Amira seem destined for an intimate relationship. When Bassam is out of town, she gets into the trouble with the police for selling illegal DVDs. She runs away before she is booked, but a bigger problem looms. She failed to show up for an earlier hearing and is an illegal immigrant. Bassam asks Sam to hide her at his apartment so she is not deported. The veteran and the hijab-wearing woman are thrown together and ethically tested.

Meanwhile, Sam's cousin Charlie (Paul Wesley), a slick hedge fund manager, wants Sam to help him land a new client who is a Vietnam war vet. He offers to give Sam a $100,000 commission if the deal comes through, and he has big plans for using Sam to get other vets to invest. Something about all this does not sit well with Sam.

Amira & Sam is the kind of small but vibrant indie movie that deserves to be championed by anyone who loves unusual love stories and fascinating tales about cross-cultural encounters. Writer and director Sean Mullen draws out top-notch performances from Martin Star and Dina Shihabi as the two oddballs who back into love slowly but with deep feeling. They both know how to enjoy simple pleasures and to be enthusiastic in each other's presence. We thought of the old Rolling Stone song where the lyric does: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try . . . you might find . . . you get what you need."