- Date: April 27, 2014
- Type: Movie
Meet the Patels is a 2014 American romantic comedy documentary film directed by siblings Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel. The film explores the expectations surrounding marriage in the Patels' first-generation Indian immigrant family and in wider American society. It had its international premiere at Hot Docs in April 2014 Neither Ravi Patel, a 30 year old small-time upcoming actor, nor his sister are married, to the chagrin of his parents Vasant (Financial planner) and Champa (an accomplished match-maker and real estate agent), who had an arranged marriage. However, Ravi has been, without his parents' knowledge, dating Audrey, a red-headed American woman, and Ravi recently broke up with her. On a family trip to India (during "wedding season") he agrees to make a serious effort to find a partner, alternating between a matchmaking process of dates with Indian-American women from among the Patel clan based in Gujarat by circulation of biodata sheets; registering with Indian marriage websites, identifying potential mates by evaluation and through extended family relations, and matrimonial ceremonies & conventions. Interspersed between the dating activity, much of it organized by his parents who continue to lament his lack of commitment to the process and high standards. Ravi discusses his experiences and his feelings about the whole thing with his sister Geeta, meanwhile Geeta also notices Ravi's one nights with Audrey, even after breaking up and Audrey's consistent request to break their plateau friendship. Ravi eventually recognizes that his frame of reference is always Audrey, his first love and no matter what or where he searches, he is not going to find Audrey in others. The parents hearing the news from Ravi at first becomes reluctant but comes around, concludes their match-making and relaxes their constraints in expectations and accepts their son's wishes for being with someone he truly loves, and Ravi ends up back with Audrey, who eventually wins the affection of his parents and adopts Indian traditions.