Take it from a South Asian, weddings are not. fun. They bring too many people and too many aunties- yes, I choose to believe that aunties and people are not the same, considering only one of them has a soul. On the other hand, it also feels like a year’s worth of drama, people pleasing, gossiping, smiling (unwillingly), and food consumed within two weeks.
If you’re young like me, it’s also a time when people believe they have the right to question every decision you’ve ever made. So when you’re studying, they question your education and tell you how well their kids did. If you’re in a relationship, they ask you the date and time of every next step you plan. Oh, and don’t worry, they’ll tell you what they think. every. single. time.
Because of this, Netflix’s Wedding Season made every person cry, laugh, and scream. The movie is more than just hating weddings and aunties; it’s also about your chosen path. It’s about standing on your terms while being there for your family, even if your dreams aren’t in line with theirs.
The movie also accurately depicts the number of weddings South-Asian people attend. But, honestly, the pandemic slowed it down for a bit. I mean, now I say I don’t want to go, but weddings are pain, rinse, and repeat.
FAKE DATING: *CHEF’S KISS*
Fake relationships are everything. It is the trope that keeps on giving.
Ravi and Asha’s fake relationship is no less. Sure, it’s a ploy to fend off the aunties and a good one at that, but it’s also this free-fall of trust. The fake dating trope forces you to build and establish a relationship with this person because the whole plan unravels if you can’t hold the line for each other.
We see these polar opposite people engage in this relationship built on honesty and zero romantic expectations. They tell each other secrets and demons that no one in their community would understand. As Asha and Ravi grow closer, their genuine friendship is what shines through. We all know friendship is one of the most trustworthy foundations for building a relationship.
They also respect each other in ways that feel more believable. For example, your partner encourages you when your dating is expected. When someone you’re just getting to know encourages you and respects who you are, it gives you this genuine reassurance because it’s not fake or obligated. Their judgement regarding you is genuine and honest.
When Ravi asks about her pitch and is genuinely interested, and she gets him to open up about his donation to his family’s restaurant, it blossoms into this absolute respect for each other. This translates into their relationship. Asha lets loose and enjoys her life, letting Ravi in more.
Ravi also feels encouraged to follow the music through Asha’s many reassurances. Mr. Red Star Standard and DJ Spellbound truly comes from the heart. Honestly, you would never find a man more generous and supportive if you tried. Men written by women are always the dream.
Their relationship balances beautifully. They encourage each other and, for once in a rom-com, when the girl isn’t focused on her job or school, she does not blame her new boyfriend. Also, this new boyfriend does not back down. Ravi believes in Asha and fights for her in ways she’s never seen.
Sure, there’s angst, and they have to fight through a tough time, but the fear comes from the possibility of losing a beautiful opportunity with someone. Sometimes fear clouds our rational explanations, and angst ensues. But they fight for it, and Asha sums it up perfectly when she says:
One thing that I have learned about love is that it’s a lot like moving to a new country. Trying to build something where nothing existed before. It’s hanging on and letting go. It’s messy, it’s beautiful, like any giant leap of faith.
FAMILY OR PASSION?
Many of us have family members that are *opinionated*, to say the least. They believe they know what is best for you, your child, your friends, your neighbour, and even the dog. Do they keep their mouth shut? NO.
But here is where the struggle lies. Sometimes when it’s just you and your passion, and there is no criticism to drive it forward, you get stuck. It’s hard to choose a passion criticized by family, but sometimes it is the best way to stand on your terms. Also, when you push forward with that passion, you’re taking your family with you in a new direction (whether they want to come or not).
We see Asha and Ravi focused on their passions, even if it doesn’t align with the ideal view of an Indian family and future. Asha is considered too ambitious, and Ravi is not ambitious enough. But they balance perfectly. They don’t think less of each other or feel threatened by the other’s success. They don’t listen to their families’ pleas to keep quiet; they try to be honest.
Ravi helps Asha with her pitch, reminding her that minorities and women are not just an investment into the individual but rather an investment into the future. Her dad reminds her of the same thing, and that scene reminds me of every conversation I’ve ever had with my dad, down to asking for ice cream (or any food, to be honest).
And if we’re being honest, our lives are better when their lives are better. Or as my father would say, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’
He tells her that having dreams and being a minority is tricky because you have to work twice as hard to prove you’re half as good. He didn’t want her disappointed or hurt by this cruel world, but she proved she could take on her struggles and use her family story to drive forward her passion.
The actors themselves said in a Fangirlish exclusive interview that there shouldn’t have to be a choice between family and passion. But, in the end, that’s what this movie conveys. It’s more than just a South-Asian rom-com; it’s also a story about finding your path, and your family is a part of that no matter what because they gave you your drive.
Listen, it’s not a review until I gush about the South-Asian inclusion in the film. It’s just not. First of all: Indian actors playing Indian characters? CHECK.
The focal point on how the culture fits into the daily lifestyle of South-Asian Americans everywhere brings about simplicity. The weddings have a specific dress, theme, and music, while the day-to-day aspects are casual. But it’s not all separate. We have the blazer that comes in for Asha’s pitch, the mesh of music, etc.
Some aspects were hilarious. The “clothes on our backs and $8 in our pockets” immigration story finally getting called out had me on the floor. I mean, if there is a WHOLE closet in my house devoted to suitcases at least 30 years old, I guarantee it was more than just the clothes on their backs.
For the record, the scene where the mom makes the profile for her and calls it biodata? PERFECTION. Every single one of us is the dad on the sidelines telling her not to do it. Unfortunately, weddings are the best place for prowling aunties to approach. Also, on that note, if you like that setup, you should read Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma.
Also, would it be a rom-com without an overzealous white man trying to impress his in-laws WAY too much? Seriously, this guy is a neurosurgeon, worried about impressing South-Asian parents? This also brings me to my next point. Some aspects of the movie were a little stereotypical.
However, it was in a humourous sense that was tailored for South Asians. It wasn’t making fun of the culture or stereotypical in that sense. It was more along the lines of a younger South-Asian generation laughing at the antics of the older generation. After all, a South-Asian woman wrote all this script for a South-Asian audience, so the one-liners are to be expected.
Yeah as long as we have five MBA’s, choose a nice guy, and make round rotis… Listen to you, Miss Taco Bell. When have you even made one roti?
Despite Asha’s objections to much of her culture, we see her embrace and tie aspects together. At the movie’s beginning, we see her working on her pitch at every wedding and refusing to mingle. Towards the end, as she grows closer to Ravia and starts to let loose, we see her encompassing and mixing more of her culture and lifestyle.
Wedding Season was a movie about family and your dreams. An honourable mention goes out to Tina, James, and Yoshi for being the most supportive friends who pushed boundaries and told the truth. I adored the writer’s decision to make them the non-problematic, reliable people for the protagonists to lean on.
I mean, the whole theme of this movie is the strength of friendship and the individual voice. Sure, we have the romance and the comedy, but we have an ordinary South-Asian story that everyone can relate to without watering it down. It’s the exact type of representation that every South-Asian person hopes for.