What’s a feel-good rom-com if not a large scoop of delish ice-cream? They restore our faith in romance and the goodness of the world, while making us chuckle. Wedding Season, the newest addition to Netflix’s long list of rom-coms, does all the above while making a strong case for following one’s heart even though that might not measure up to society’s idea of success.
Set in New Jersey, this movie is as much about the insecurities and aspirations of desi parents as it’s about second-generation young Indian-Americans following their dreams and choosing to live a life they deem fit. To ward off the gossiping aunties and the constant parental pressure to going through the rigmarole of arranged marriage, Asha (Pallavi Sharda) and Ravi (Suraj Sharma) decide to fake date each other during the series of wedding celebrations lined up for that season. One of them being her sister Priya’s with Nick, a white man who will stop at nothing till he has learnt the Indian ways — from speaking in Hindi to making aloo-gobi and praying at a temple.
Given the nature of this genre, it is not surprising that the story follows a certain course – especially when pretense makes way for romance between Asha and Ravi — and there are familiar tropes. However, what makes its an enjoyable weekend viewing is the chemistry between the lead actors, Sharda and Sharma. The character of Asha, particularly, is created with care even though the film glosses over many other aspects of the narrative.
Asha is not a ‘simple girl at heart’, as her resume posted by her mother on a matrimonial site claims, but someone who is a workaholic and lacks kitchen skills. But while ordering sloppy burgers, she can calculate the taxes and the final amount before the bill shows it. After quitting her plum banking job, she wants to make a difference through micro-financing. The real triumph of this movie, however, is that Asha doesn’t have to encounter the dilemma of whether she should pursue her career or love interest. Ravi understands her professional aspirations and is an ally who nudges her to achieve it.
As they learn to trust each other, the parents too learn to respect the choices their children make even when it does not match their expectations. It’s heart-warming when Asha’s father (played by Manji) bares his heart to his daughter and talks about the setbacks he had faced in his career. This movie romanticises weddings as much as it allows its characters to question the traditional notions associated with it.
Director: Tom Dey
Cast: Pallavi Sharda, Suraj Sharma, Rizwan Manji