By Gregory Crofton
Want to know what it’s like to be a Patel? You know, the Indian-American families named Patel who own motels all across America.
I didn’t really want to know, but once I plunged into MEET THE PATELS, a new documentary made by a brother-and-sister team, it wowed me by how entertaining it is, and made me realize that documentaries, generally speaking, are much better than they once were.
MEET THE PATELS stars Ravi Patel, a self-effacing young working Hollywood actor looking for a soul mate and future wife. He offers up his sweet, funny and enlightening journey into the territory of biodata-driven matchmaking, a process unknown to most in America.
The film tells several stories at once. It explains the Patel-name phenomenon, explores family dynamics, and the pokes its head into the business of Indian matchmaking. It’s production isn’t slick, but it thoroughly entertaining because its tightly edited and varied, broken up nicely with humor and animation.
You think your parents are nosy? If you’re 30, single and of Indian descent, chances are your parents are very upset you’re not married. And if you do get married, don’t have a picture taken of the two of you kissing — that would be obscene.