Wedding Season (2022)

Wedding Season
Director: Tom Dey
Writer: Shiwani Srivastava
Cast: Pallavi Sharda, Suraj Sharma, Arianna Afsar, Sean Kleier, Veena Sood, Rizwan Manji, Ruth Goodwin, Damian Thompson, Manoj Sood, Subhash Santosh, Julius Cho
Seen on: 11.8.2022

Plot:
After a broken off engagement some years ago, Asha (Pallavi Sharda) would rather concentrate on her career than on romance. But her mother Suneeta (Veena Sood) is having none of that. As frustrating as her constant attempts to set up Asha are, every once in a while, Asha has to agree to go on a date. And that’s how she ends up on a rather catastrophic date with Ravi (Suraj Sharma) who is in a rather similar situation with his parents. With one wedding after the other coming up in the next few weeks, and neither of their parents showing any sign of relenting in their coupling attempts, Ravi and Asha strike a deal: they will be each other’s date for the wedding season, keeping their parents from their backs and themselves free of romantic entanglements. But it’s not so easy to date without a little romance creeping in.

Wedding Season is a really cute romance that profits from the Indian-American setting and a very likeable central couple with good chemistry. It sticks to the rules of the genre, giving you exactly what you expect and hope for.

The film poster showing Ravi (Suraj Sharma) with his arm around Asha (Pallavi Sharda) in front of a city skyline.

It’s a good thing that Wedding Season was written by a Desi writer (and was it really impossible to find a Desi director, too?) because it keeps the film from exoticizing and stereotyping too much. I mean, a certain amount of stereotyping is part of (romantic) comedy, and this does overlap with some let’s say orientalist tendencies, but it all comes with a sense of realism and understanding that grounds the film. So we can both enjoy the colorful costumes and lavish weddings without losing sight of the fact that these are all people and not projection spaces for Western fantasies. I also thought that Asha’s (future) brother-in-law, a white guy, was a really nice touch. He tries so hard to acknowledge his fiancée’s culture and family, he completely overdoes it.

But as nice for representation as Wedding Season is, and as much as I enjoy RomComs that don’t feature straight, rich, white people, it’s not the point of the film. Neither is the – by now practically obligatory – feminist touch that is unfortunately less the revolutionary kind of feminism and more the girlbossy one. No, the film just wants to entertain. And it does.

Ravi (Suraj Sharma) and Asha (Pallavi Sharda) attend a wedding together.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really like fake dating stories and this one is really nicely executed, hitting all the usual genre stops on the way. Plus, Sharda and Sharma have excellent chemistry with each other (and I just have to say, it is incredible how good-looking humans can get, I have to say. It is almost ridiculous). I enjoyed Asha’s energy and drive, as much as Ravi’s laid-back calm, and it really worked for them together.

And really, that’s the most important thing. You want to see those two end up together and that the ride until the happy end includes some nice comedy, a bit of dancing and a lesson about being who you are even if your parents’ would have wanted things to be different – that’s pretty nice as well. In that sense, I really got everything I wanted from Wedding Season.

Ravi (Suraj Sharma) and Asha (Pallavi Sharda) have a heart to heart at another wedding.

Summarizing: if you want a nice summer RomCom, this is just the thing.

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