REVIEW: Meet the Patels


Ravi Patel, star and co-director of Meet the Patels, concealed his caucasian girlfriend from his Indian parents. He knew they would react with disappointment with his decision to date a caucasian woman. Yet he realizes he can’t lead two separate lives anymore, ends his relationship with his girlfriend, and embarks on finding an Indian girlfriend and potential spouse. Meet the Patels chronicles Ravi’s search for an Indian wife.

The film begins with scenes from the family’s annual trip to their home village in India. Everyone inquires about Ravi’s personal life. The interrogations drive him crazy. He’s under an incredible amount of pressure to marry an Indian woman. Ravi returns to the United States and sifts through the resumés of unmarried Indian women. He travels across the country during his search and even attends a matrimonial convention.

Ravi becomes confused as to what he wants. Initially, he wanted an Indian partner to appease his parents. But he also wants someone who shares his American upbringing. The film suggests that Ravi misses his ex-girlfriend. In the end, Ravi gets back with her. His parents seem content with this decision and with the fact that that he’s no longer single. The last scene of the film involves them gathered around the dinner table. His father then suggests they should have kids, which the viewer assumes is another expectation that his parents have. The film ends on this comical note. Overall, Meet the Patels was heartwarming. Ravi’s parents constantly smiled and made jokes throughout the film. Admittingly, I expected some sort of marriage scene because Ravi and his girlfriend got back together at the end of the film. But the film didn’t end in a marriage.

My parents never pressured me into marriage; they didn’t even have a traditional wedding because they didn’t care for the pomp and circumstance. I think members of their generation rebelled against the marriage traditions that their parents practiced. In contemporary American society it’s considered normal to be unmarried at any age or to be in a committed relationship without marrying someone. Meet the Patels is about different cultures clashing but it’s also about different generations clashing. But it stars a comedian and his hilarious family, which adds comedy to an otherwise serious topic.