Humorous romcom opens free indie movie series

A new season of the free Indie Lens Pop-Up series at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center begins Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 6 and 7, with “Meet the Patels.”

The Matinee calls the film “a real-life MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING… except with oodles of Indian Americans rather than Greeks.” And Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter says, “The funniest doc I’ve seen in years and a sure-fire Oscar contender.”

Meet the Patels is a real-life romcom about Ravi Patel, fresh out of a breakup with his secret white girlfriend who his parents knew nothing about. Somewhat freaked out that he’s almost 30 and single, he agrees to enter the “foolproof” Patel matchmaking system and embark on a worldwide search for love.

Over the course of a year, Ravi endures his life-advice-spouting father and legendary matchmaker mother’s quarterbacking of his love life, plus his sister’s video-chronicling his search for love. They send him on a whirlwind of dates around the United States via their system to a chain of weddings, online matrimonial websites, and the “Patel Matrimonial Convention.”

Witty and honest, the film explores the ageless questions: What is love? How do we find it? And even then, how do we keep it?

“Meet the Patels” also uses humor to address societal pressures of marriage on this first-generation Indian American family and the “American” issue of marrying outside of one’s skin color, culture, religion, and ethnicity. There will be a facilitated discussion after both screenings.

The film can be seen at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 6, and again at 10 a.m., Dec. 7, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 608 New York Ave., Sheboygan.

Screenings are free and open to the public. Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on the PBS series Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders, and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics to family and relationships.

The Arts Center coproduces Indie Lens Pop-Up with Milwaukee Public Television.

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