Thursday, October 1, 2015

Seeking a wife, Indian style

If Meet the Patels can be taken as a reliable indicator, it's not easy to be a first generation Indian American, particularly when it comes to marriage. Ravi Patel, an actor by trade, has made a documentary with his sister Geeta Patel that makes the point. Their subject: Ravi's difficulty making commitments and his parents desire that he marry an Indian girl so that he can continue their cultural traditions. The movie opens when Ravi breaks up with his Anglo girlfriend. Thinking he might do better with a woman who shares his cultural background, he yields to his parents suggestion that he allow them to try to arrange a marriage. This involves a trip to India, as well as plenty of U.S. travel. Supplemented by a animated interludes, the movie takes us on an entertaining journey through the world of Indian singles. Interestingly, Meet the Patels isn't fueled by Ravi's rebellious anger; he's a good-humored young man of 29 who wants to please his parents while working out conflicted identity problems of his own. On top of that, everyone in the movie is likable, which affords audiences with an opportunity to spend time with a family you might actually like to meet in real life.

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