In what has been celebrated as a real-life romantic comedy, a young actor rebounds from a break-up by deciding to let his Indian parents find him a prospective mate. Better yet, he invites his documentarian sister to film the entire process! Festival favorite Meet the Patels follows Ravi over the course of a year through “bio-date” matchmaking, wedding season, online connections, and even the Patel Matrimonial Convention.
Charming, funny, and informative, this true narrative illuminates pressures of a first-generation Indian-American family. Like Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, personal experiences are blended with societal observations, and the result is both thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining.
“You know that girl in Eat, Pray, Love? She goes through a break up, goes on the existential journey to India to get over depression, find out what she really wanted in life? I was that girl. Except, my family was with me the entire time.” — Ravi
For more stories of love and marriage-minded families, try…
With an official tagline “Love is here to stay…so is her family”, this top-grossing romantic comedy is all about the tension between cultural expectation and the life a thirty-year-old woman wants to create for herself. A riotous extended family is eager to tell her what she needs, and going out with a non-Greek named Ian isn’t exactly what they have in mind.
In Regency England, poor Mrs. Bennet has five daughters who need husbands to ensure their futures. Her methods may seem extreme (she sends her eldest out in the rain so she’ll need to stay at a prospective gentleman’s home), but her instincts aren’t completely wrong when it comes to eligible men.
In a slight twist, our lovable heroine has no family, and in this case it is the hero’s relatives who are pushy in the best and most delightful way. Spoiler: it works! At one point, Lucy even confesses that it is the family that first wins her heart.
“And who does Mama teach to mend and tend and fix, preparing her to marry whomever Papa picks? The daughters!” Another family of five young women who need future providers enlists the services of a matchmaker and confronts conflicting ideas about what makes an ideal husband. At its core, the story is one of generational differences, big social changes, and whether there is room for love in making practical life choices.
Though we already mentioned Austen’s classic of five sisters who are pressured to find husbands, this Bollywood-style take is worth its own mention. As a bonus, the spin of modern-day young adults in India and the emphasis on compatibility of culture echo themes in Meet the Patels — yet with even more vibrant colors, rich culture, and romantic comedy tropes.
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