Asha (Pallavi Sharda) is a member of a fictionalized version of the South Asian diaspora in New Jersey. But she’s also a character within a romcom universe, which means she has a fancy job that I can’t understand. She works in an office – what are those? – and her boss James (Damian Thompson) have problems that she can relate to. This movie, Tom Dey’s Wedding Season, explains his backstory as a dandy British Jamaican running from his parents. She’s running from her parents in a different way. She uses her work in microfinance to get away from her mother Suneeta (Veena Sood) trying to marry her off.
Tom Dey, by the way, is the director of romcoms like Failure to Launch, also about adults still living with their parents. By pivoting to depict a similar story but within a diasporic community, this feels at least more tasteful. Because of parental pressure, Asha agrees to go on a blind date with Ravi (Suraj Sharma), who on paper is an MIT graduate who is running a secretive startup company. They meet during the titular wedding season, a time when aunties prey on single South Asian twentysomethings to set them up on blind dates. They strike a deal where they pretend to be each others fiancés to ward these aunties off.
Outside of their parents’ eyes, Asha and Ravi eventually get to know each other. This includes the former realizing that the latter is not a startup businessman. He’s actually a DJ with many followers on a platform no one mentions. Apparently it was difficult for the movie’s first time screenwriter Shiwani Srivastava to add two words to her script, or to write tropes and execute them in mediocre ways. Although in fairness to this movie, it does have easter eggs that reward viewers who care enough to watch it again. But it hides those easter eggs within romcom job jargon.
All of this leads to revelations that separate the fake-real couple apart and the last wedding of the season. The season ends with Asha’s sister’s Priya’s (Arianna Afsar) wedding which has to turn into a disaster before it turns into a good wedding. There are parts of me that want to give this movie points, like when it reveals Suneeta’s humanity. After all, a woman who spent her twenties during the 90s probably knows what Indian women now are going through. But then it resumes into showing Asha doing the thing where she runs to the man whose heart she broke. She tries to win Ravi back and I feel like I’ve seen this before.
Netflix is releasing Wedding Season this Friday.
- Release Date: 8/5/2022