Different cultures really aren’t so different

Meet the Patels

I was in one of those moods where I wanted to watch something interesting, but also funny. Turning to my trusty Plex, I noticed Meet the Patels, starring Ravi Patel, whom I had seen in a few shows. Most recently I saw Patel in Aziz Ansari’s Netflix Original Master of None (which I highly recommend - funny and truthful). I figured, hey, Ravi's a funny guy, maybe this is the Indian version of Ben Stiller's Meet the Parents - let’s give it a watch.

Turns out it was a documentary about Ravi’s struggles with his love life and, in an amusing and endearing way, the real life version of Meet the Parents with an Indian cultural twist. Meet the Patels is less focused on the protagonist's parents meeting his significant other for the first time, as in the Ben Stiller movie, and much more about the viewer meeting his parents and revealing their Indian cultural differences. The film was done by his sister, Geeta Patel, over the course of a year that finds Patel struggling with issues of love and commitment as he seeks his ideal partner in life.

This is a great film on many levels. Chief among them is how interesting it is to take a peek into a culture you may know little about. Learning about the power of the Patel clan was a real eye-opener. As the main topic of the film, the nature and meaning of lasting love is also explored. Patel's Patels (his family) are a wonderful bunch. His dad, Vasant Patel, is especially funny, wise, and well worth watching. If Ravi and Aziz got their fathers together and produced a show, I’d watch.

If you're in the mood for something a little different, but aren't up for a depressingly heavy documentary, I recommend Meet the Patels - 4.5 stars.