Meet the Patels: A Movie Review

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I’m gonna be honest with you. I’m at that stage in my life where every-time, literally every time I have a phone conversation with my mother, she ends it with inshallah (God willing) you’ll soon find a good husband. But that’s Iranian culture. A culture where marriage is just that big and that important. Where parents won’t really sleep until their children marry and procreate.

Meet the Patels is a rom-com documentary on exactly this. The film co-directed by siblings Ravi Patel and Geeta Patel explores the raw and honest expectations of Ravi’s parents (and extended family) surrounding his quest for love and marriage.

And, it is possibly the greatest film EVER.

And not because I can relate to the story. Even though I can (big time) but because some of the absurdities that come out of Patels parents are identical to the shizz my parents would, and do, say. However; amongst the ridiculousness are also a rich array of lessons on love and family to be learnt and cherished.

Ridiculousness include conversations like this where Ravi’s poppa describes the first time he met his wife through the Indian arranged marriage system:

“I go upstairs she’s sitting in a chair, stool or something
probably a little intimidated because this guy is from America…(his wife interrupts: “right away, I’m like, he’s short and he’s a little chubby.”) I was the one who asked the questions and she never asked me any questions which was a big set-up because she never opened her mouth there but she never shut up after the marriage.”

To adorable truths from the same man like the following:

“Bottom line is Ravi, i still believe when you are ready.. you will find a girl. just like a guru… when you are ready for a guru, you’ll never look for a guru, guru will come to you.” 

And…

“The girl you get married, you will never know her enough. Never know enough. Even after 35 year of marriage (his wife interrupting: he still doesn’t know me) it’s still a discovery. So you think I want to know her enough. That’s impossible, that is why you get married and that’s the fun of getting married because you keep discovering…you know, after 35 years we tell each other, “Oh, you don’t understand me!” Now after 35 years, I don’t understand her and you gonna know somebody in two year?!” 

All in all, a sweet and hilarious little movie with Ravi’s parents being the true stars of the film; old-fashioned yet charming and good-humoured – just like my own parents.

6/5 (a first on Iaccidentlyatethewholething)

6 comments

  1. Thanks for the review – I’m looking forward to watching it. As a European Kiwi, I guess I’m lucky not to be bound by cultural expectations and traditions. But as an outsider looking in, sometimes I think I am unlucky, as those same expectations and traditions of other cultures seems to make their family structures stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the humorous and insightful review! I’m now looking forward to watching it :) Interestingly, even though this may seem ironic, it reminds me a little bit of my own family. I was raised by Soviet-Ukrainian grandparents and have often felt the same dynamic between them. I guess that it might be a universal part of marriage in some ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a beautiful review! I’ve watched the documentary with my boyfriend and it was a great way for him to get an insight into a world that’s so familiar to me, but so surreal and strange to him. We both loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

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