Meet the Patels Coming to OETA December 26

Meet the Patels Coming to OETA December 26

Posted by Cassie Gage on

Tavis Smiley Actor Ravi Patel The actor and director discusses his new autobiographical documentary "Meet the Patels."

Meet the Patels is a charming, real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an Indian American actor/comedian who enters into a love triangle between the woman of his dreams — and his parents. Filmed by Ravi’s sister, Geeta, in what started as a family vacation video, this warm and funny film reveals how, for a Patel, love is truly a family affair. With unique animation and a soulful soundtrack, Meet the Patels premieres on Independent Lens Monday, December 26, 2016, 9 p.m. on OETA.

Fresh out of a breakup with his secret girlfriend, who is white, and freaked out that he’s almost 30 and still single, Ravi goes on a family vacation to India with his head and heart spinning. He decides he’s willing to do whatever it takes to find love — but there’s a catch: in his family, everyone has the last name Patel. Patels marry other Patels. It’s not incest — it just means they are from the same 50-square mile radius in India. Struck with how overwhelmingly happy are the marriages of his Patel family and friends, Ravi plunges into the foolproof Patel matchmaking system and embarks on a worldwide search for the perfect American Patel woman.

A well-oiled machine, the Patel network is instantly alerted to Ravi’s availability through his legendary matchmaker mother and his jovial, advice-spouting father, both of whom expertly quarterback Ravi’s love life through a system that has brought happiness into the lives of all of Ravi’s cousins. Ravi and Geeta’s mother Champa and father Vasant decided to marry within ten minutes of meeting, have been wildly happy for 35 years and can’t wait for weddings and babies. Over the course of a year, Ravi’s parents send him on a whirlwind of dates across the United States and Canada via the “biodating” system (in which resumes are circulated within the Patel universe), a chain of weddings, online matrimonial websites, and even the Patel Matrimonial Convention. During the process, Ravi can’t seem to shake his documentarian sister who follows him around, inserting commentary at every turn. Witty and brutally honest, Meet the Patels explores the questions with which we all struggle: What makes a great, lasting marriage? What is love? How do we find it? And even then, how do we keep it?

Visit the Meet the Patels page on Independent Lens, which features more information about the film. Meet the Patels will be available for online viewing on the site beginning December 27.

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