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Meet the Patels

Amusing documentary about an American man trying to please his marriage-minded Indian parents

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Ravi Patel, the grown child of Indian immigrants, finds himself at the center of his parents’ obsessive need to find him a bride — preferably Indian, also a Patel and a hundred other important/not-important qualifications. So Ravi enlists his filmmaker sister, Geeta (also “tragically” unmarried), to document his search, which spans the globe — from his parents’ town in India to arranged dates in Canada — as well as a never-ending series of old and new match-making methods (friends of family, Patel conferences, speed dating, websites). Throughout Ravi searches himself, trying to determine his own commitment to marriage, while trying to find a balance between his modern, Americanized self and the traditional obligations to family. The film is quite funny — with wry observations that will resonate with other children of immigrants and amusing animated sequences — but mostly because Ravi’s parents are a hoot: There’s no end to their passive-aggressive nagging (a.k.a. “helpful loving advice”), face-mugging and deadpan asides. But they care, and Ravi cares, and quickly, you too will care how it all works out.


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