by Greg “Gargs” Allard

Film Review: Meet the Patels (released September 11)

8.5 rating out of 10

Everything about Meet the Patels is heart-warming and fun as the film-goer watches the painfully awkward process of 30-year-old Ravi Patel in his search for matrimonial happiness in this charming documentary.

The love between himself, his younger sister Geeta (who films much of the footage) and their parents, whose earnest wish is to see both their son and daughter become situated in happy householder life, conquers all the cultural angst that the clash of the American and Hindu/Indian culture regarding finding a suitable mate can possibly muster.

The customary aesthetics of the Patel-network of Gujaratis from creating an official marriage sheet for each individual to flying all over the nation and the world in search of a fellow Indian mate is fascinating in juxtaposition to the Patel’s Indian children’s more American tendencies from growing up in the United States.

Ultimately, Ravi has to choose between a traditional marriage and all its cozy trappings and a love interest he’s been cultivating behind his parent’s back for the last several years.

The movie had me busting out laughing on more than just a few occasions. It also brought a tear or two to my eyes.

It is also a story of the older generation trying to hold onto traditional culture and passing it onto their kids while living in a new country. Ravi’s mother questions whether her whole family would have been happier if her and her husband never moved to America. Ravi’s father, on the other hand, remains more even-keeled externally as he lovingly tries to assist his son to make perhaps the most important decision of his life.

The 1 hour 28 minute running time is perfect. You feel satisfied but wouldn’t mind if it had lasted just a little while longer.

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