Independent Lens and PBS Present: Meet the Patels

December 20, 2016

Love is Truly a Family Affair

Ravi Patel, Director, Meet the Patels

(San Francisco, CA., Tuesday, December 20, 2016)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.

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. 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?

Meet the Patels airs on PBS/Independent Lens on Monday, December 26, 2016 at 9pm (check local listings).

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