- Technical Quality
“You know that girl in “Eat, Pray, Love?” She goes through a breakup, goes on the existential journey to India to get over depression and finds what she really wanted in life. I was that girl. Except my family was with me the entire time,” Ravi Patel opens in the real-life, laugh-out-loud documentary “Meet the Patels.” Ravi’s words are merely the beginning of a charming film directed, produced and filmed by his sister, Geeta Patel.
Ravi Patel is an actor who has appeared in “Transformers,” an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the film “The Last Hurrah,” among other films. In “Meet the Patels,” his loving but traditional Indian parents constantly harangue him about finding a wife.
His mother and father, eager for several grandchildren, relentlessly fill Ravi’s e-mail inbox with “biodatas,” or matrimonial résumés, of suitable women. The women in question also have the last name “Patel.” These women are from all over the country and a few even live in other parts of the world.
Ravi first travels to India with his family on their annual trip, where nosy relatives interrogate him about why he is still single. The trip comes just after Ravi had ended a relationship with his red-haired, blue-eyed girlfriend of two years, named Audrey. However, his parents never knew that there was an Audrey.
Geeta follows Ravi on his matchmaking journey back in America, where he goes along with his parents’ persistent wishes of him meeting the perfect Indian woman.
Geeta’s endearing cinematography gives “Meet the Patels” a home-movie effect. In the film, we see the tip of a boom microphone, hear Geeta’s laughter while filming her brother attending the Patel marriage convention. We see Patel go on awkward blind-dates, and his parents’ loving personalities but comical deadpan expressions. There are few better ways to spend 88 minutes than going to see “Meet the Patels.” By the time the film ended, I was longing for more.