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Hilarious Family Riot: Meet the Patels

Directors: Geeta V. Patel, Ravi V. Patel
Producers: Janet Eckholm, Geeta V. Patel
Co-Producer: Trishya Screwvala
Executive Producers: Geralyn Dreyfous, Dan Cogan, Vijay Vaidyanathan
Editors: Billy McMillin, Matthew Hamachek, Ravi V. Patel, Geeta V. Patel
Co-Editor/Associate Producer: Dhevi Natarajan
Writers: Billy McMillin, Ravi V. Patel, Matthew Hamachek, Geeta V. Patel

Meet the Patels is a laugh-out-loud real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an almost-30-year-old Indian American who enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams ... and his parents. Filmed by Ravi’s sister in what started as a family vacation video, this hilarious and heartbreaking film reveals how love is a family affair. The film has been much acclaimed at various film festivals.

(Above): Family Selfie.

Fresh out of a breakup with his American girlfriend and freaked out that he’s almost 30 and single, Ravi Patel goes on a family vacation to India with his head and heart spinning. Ravi is desperate to find love and is willing to do whatever it takes.

Through his journey to India, he realizes that the inner workings of his culture that inevitably lead back to the semi-arranged marriage might not be so terrible. In his family, everyone has the last name Patel.

Patels marry other Patels. It’s not incest, it means they are from the same 50-square mile radius in India. Struck with how overwhelmingly happy the marriages are of his Patel family and friends, Ravi decides to embark on a worldwide search for another American Patel just like him.

(Above): Mom and Dad give a thumbs up.

He enlists the help of his legendary matchmaker mother and his life-advice-spouting father, and can’t seem to shake his documentarian sister who follows him around, inserting unhelpful commentary at every whim. Over the course of a year, Ravi’s parents send him on a whirlwind of dates around the United States via the “Biodating” system, a chain of weddings, online matrimonial websites, and the “Patel Matrimonial Convention.” But there is a twist to this story and the only thing in the way of Ravi finding love ... is his family ... and a little secret.

Witty and brutally honest, this comedy explores the questions with which we all struggle: What is love? How do we find it? And even then, how do we keep it?

With clever use of unique animation and a soulful soundtrack that will have audiences dancing in their seats, Geeta and Ravi, along with their quirky parents keep audiences entertained and glued to the screen. Meet the Patels is a film everyone can relate to regardless of gender, age, or cultural background — after all we have all been there.

(Above): Animated family in airport en route to India.

In addition to the witty comedic nature of the film, the documentary also uses humor to address a timely social issue: In early 2009, directors, sister and brother team, Geeta and Ravi Patel began to explore and document the societal pressures of marriage in their first-generation Indian American family. Through research in India and America, they discovered that their “Indian Issue” was more of an “American Issue” – the majority of Americans with strong cultural and religious roots shared a serious psychological conflict when it came to dating (and marrying) outside of their skin color, culture, religion, and ethnicity.

(Above): Movie Poster

“You know that girl in Eat, Pray, Love? She goes through a break up, goes on the existential journey to India to get over depression, find out what she really wanted in life?

I was that girl. Except, my family was with me the entire time.”

— Ravi


Click here to read the Current Issue in Magazine format

Flouting the Fourth Estate:
PM Modi Delivers, Quietly

There has been some buzz about Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeping the media at a distance. The new PM has opted not to travel abroad with the usual large press entourage, writes Siddharth Srivastava.

Diplomatic Talks Cancelled: As Pak Woos Kashmiri Separatists
India needs to review its Pakistan policy even further, writes Priyanka Bhardwaj.

Crying: The Human Way of Purging Emotions
Crying is an important part of human life. It is one extraordinary quality, which distinguish us from many other living beings in this world, writes Prof. Prabhakar Putheti.

EDITORIAL: Flouting the Fourth Estate
TECHBIZ: News in Brief
COMMUNITY: India’s 68th Independence Day Celebrations
OUTLOOK: Rethinking Undergraduate Education in IITs
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Startup Accelerator
OPINION: Siding with Sachin
TRIBUTE: Father of Modern Yoga
RECIPE: Kung Pao Vegetables
AUTO REVIEW: 2014 Lexus RX 450h
TRAVEL: North of the Golden Gate
CINEMA: Meet the Patels
FICTION: Performance Bonus
HOROSCOPE: September

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