When a rom-com clicks, that normally means it’s firing on each cylinders: romance and comedy. The sparks fly, the jokes tickle, the conditions swirl. However then there’s the form of comfort-food rom-com-of-the-week like “Wedding ceremony Season.” It options a few extremely interesting actors, Pallavi Sharda and Suraj Sharma, within the story of two horny assimilated Indian Individuals from Jersey Metropolis who’re doing all they’ll to flee their dad and mom’ legacy of arranged-marriage traditionalism.
The film has jokes, just like the barbed insults the 2 alternate once they meet at a diner for cheeseburgers and sloppy fries after studying that their people signed them up on the identical courting app. It has twists, like once they determine that they don’t like one another however conform to enter right into a faux relationship, all in order that the native yentas will cease pestering them. It has turns, like once they understand they do like one another, in order that now they‘re faking the fakery. It has secrets and techniques and deceptions, together with a generic semblance of the spinning-top vibe a film like this one strives for.
Okay, however is any of this truly, you realize, humorous? “Wedding ceremony Season” is sweet for a couple of smiles, a sprinkling of CTM moments, and so forth. However it’s not as if the film goes to go away Ben Hecht nodding with delighted approval from screwball heaven. It’s a processed confection that has come off the streaming meeting line. But if the comedy right here is usually routine, the romance is one other factor. It actually does work, as a result of the actors don’t simply cellphone within the love story — they dance with it, decide to it, and personal it.
The largest distinction between a romantic comedy you’ll see on Netflix and the sort of rom-coms which have performed in film theaters for the reason that early ‘90s (although there are actually just some of them per yr) is that the theatrical model is sort of all the time constructed round brand-name stars, whereas the streaming model typically options little-known actors who’re on their means up (or perhaps even not). That may make these films appear a pale imitation of the actual factor — the rom-com as fan fodder, minus the marquee sparkle. However there’s a bizarre means that it can provide a trifle like “Wedding ceremony Season” a sure benefit. We’re imagined to consider that the characters in a romantic comedy are actual individuals, and within the artificial big-screen rom-coms that used to star Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson, the movie-star issue was all the time hovering. No hurt there; that, in fact, is what films are.
However after I watched “Wedding ceremony Season,” I purchased, a bit greater than I might need in a Jennifer Lopez or Kate Hudson film, that Pallavi Sharda’s Asha is definitely a conflicted party-girl millennial who left her job at a Wall Road financial institution and now works at a microfinancing funding agency, the place she’s attempting to create alternatives for ladies in Southeast Asia to begin their very own companies. I purchased, a bit greater than I might need in a Hugh Grant or Josh Lucas film, that Suraj Sharma’s Ravi, an overachiever who entered MIT at 16 and is now rolling in startup cash, is simply too good to be true.
And I loved how direct and interesting these actors are. Sharda, who has labored in Britain and Bollywood, has a no-nonsense tartness harking back to Annabella Sciorra, and Sharma, tall and amused, makes Ravi a chivalrous Teddy bear who appears to have transcended life’s issues — till it seems that his complete picture is a little bit of a home of playing cards. The 2 characters are defiant impartial souls, which is what makes them good for one another. However the concern of seeing them navigate their dad and mom’ control-freak matrimonial fervor lends the story small tugs of rigidity. It’s the identical theme that gave “The Huge Sick” its sneaky hilarity and euphoria — although that movie, let’s be clear, is a Ben Hecht comedy in comparison with this one.
But in “Wedding ceremony Season,” the stress between the Previous World arranged-marriage view of issues and the Twenty first-century do-what-you-please view of issues has extra resonance than you may anticipate. Many people have a tendency to treat this type of battle as past irrelevant. (It felt completely archaic to me after I first encountered it watching “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1971.) However other than the truth that it stays very a lot alive in some Indian American households, it really works in “Wedding ceremony Season” as a sort of metaphor. On this film, the prospect of organized marriage hovers over the motion like a god reminding the characters that they’ll’t keep younger endlessly.
The film, by the way, known as “Wedding ceremony Season” as a result of Asha and Ravi are set to attend greater than a dozen weddings over the summer season, which is why they resolve to faux having a relationship. It would give them cowl from all of the busybodies who’re attempting to set them up. One of many individuals getting married is Asha’s sister, Priya (Arianna Afsar), whose fiancée, Nick (Sean Kleier), is twisting himself into goofball knots attempting to turn into “Indian.” A few of this truly is humorous, however there’s additionally a touching undercurrent to it. Priya is the primary individual in her household to marry exterior her nationality, and the film makes us really feel what a leap that’s. As stodgy because the dad and mom are, “Wedding ceremony Season” lets us see issues from their viewpoint. The movie acknowledges that marriage is all the time about greater than two individuals — it’s about how the world strikes ahead. “Wedding ceremony Season” may simply depart you with a tear in your eye as you watch the world inch forward with grace.