'Meet the Patels' - Movie Review

Our main character in this documentary is Ravi Patel. He and his sister Geeta decided to document his - and his parent's - attempts to make an arranged marriage for him. His parents grew up in India and their marriage was arranged - and it's definitely worked out for them. But Ravi and Geeta grew up in the U.S. (now living in L.A.?), and Ravi's not sure about the arranged marriage thing. When the movie starts, he lives with his sister, and she is - as he points out right at the beginning of the film - a pretty terrible cinematographer. Framing is bad, and I think the mic was in the shot for about one third of the entire movie. And yet - she and Ravi are funny, likable people, and with the addition of some nicely animated sections - mostly of Ravi talking - the movie overcomes its blatant shortcomings in a big way, to bring us a story about what it is to look for love in America. Ravi is coming off the only real relationship he's ever had, with Audrey the redhead from Wisconsin(? may have been Connecticut). A relationship he's never told his parents about. And now he throws himself into his parent's scheme to find a woman for an arranged marriage. So he goes to India, looks at biodata sheets, flies all over the U.S. for dates, goes to a Patel convention (Patels are supposed to marry other Patels), and joins multiple websites. It's an odyssey, but one that ends on a wonderfully positive note - complete with Ravi pointing the camera at Geeta after she's come home from a date.

Fun and highly recommended despite the cinematic deficiencies.

Post Script

Even more highly recommended and also about family and identity in America is "Twinsters" - also a documentary.