Maybe it’s time to launch a campaign titled “Justice for Rom-Coms,” where we delete every such movie from existence that lacks emotional depth. “Wedding Season” is a film that tells the story of two Indians, Asha, and Ravi, who pretend to date during the wedding season so that they can avoid unwanted marriage proposals and interference by “aunties” in their lives. But while pretending, they end up falling in love for real. We so badly wanted to like this movie. It always feels good to find representation in such a beloved trope, but it was a total opportunity lost.
“Wedding Season” is based more on the idea of what Americans think Indians are like. It is also sad that they could not capture the nuances of the cultural understanding of first and second-generation Americans. To put it very crudely, the makers thought they were making some “very spicy curry,” but it was just “bland raita.” Let’s see why this is so lackluster.
Why Do Asha And Ravi Pretend To Date?
“Wedding Season” starts with Asha’s mother setting up her profile on a matrimonial website where she describes her as looking for an “Indian Prince Charming.” First of all, we will never believe that an Indian mother would willingly say these words on a public platform. But cut to Asha. She is a trailblazing career woman who is working on obtaining a fund that would help thousands of women in South-East Asia become independent and empowered. And since she is so busy, she has no time for relationships. This is the trope we are tired of. Either way, during the presentation for the funding, Asha is told that while they believe in her vision, they need a story. A story to understand her commitment to the project. Thank God this wouldn’t happen in the real world. This right here is why “Wedding Season” lacks depth. Because even though the connections are all there, their execution has been so random. Was this the only way the makers could think of to bring out the history of immigrant families?
Moving on, we see that Asha’s mother is insistent on her getting married. So the mother and daughter come up with a bargain. Asha will go on a date with Ravi, and she will attend all the weddings for the season because that is the best place to find boys. Frankly, after a lifetime of going to other people’s weddings, we can say that Asha’s mother is wrong and the dupatta doesn’t get stuck on anybody’s watch.
Either way, Asha and Ravi’s date does not go very well, as both of them clearly seem to be there to humor their parents. However, Ravi seems to be somewhat interested. Word spreads in the Indian circle that the date was a disaster. At the next wedding they go to, when some of the aunties start throwing shade at Asha about how she needs to find a husband fast, she makes an impulsive decision and announces that hers and Ravi’s date was not such a flop show after all and that they are seeing each other. Ravi, initially shocked, agrees to go along with the ruse. They come up with an agreement to pretend to be a couple for the wedding season.
The ruse starts working well. Both their parents are happy, and Asha is working on her funding presentation while Ravi dances his heart out at the weddings. But Ravi has had enough. He tells Asha that they must pretend for real and start acting like a couple. She agrees, and at an interfaith wedding that has been boycotted by the bride and groom’s parents, both of them tear up a little hearing their stories, which is followed by them having their first dance.
At another party, a non-wedding one, Asha is surprised to find that Ravi is actually a DJ. They talk for a while, and Ravi confesses that he has been on the road for a long time and wants to take the time to figure out what he wants from life. It is the first time they have opened up to each other, and the moment feels just right so they lean in for a kiss. Really, what is it with rom-coms’ thinking that even the most fleeting moments of vulnerability must be followed by a kiss? It doesn’t work like that.
But back to the movie. Their moment is interrupted, but their feelings for each other are clear. They go on another date, but this time, Asha falls asleep due to having been overworked for a while. The next day, she tells him that she wished she had stayed up, so they could have spent some time together. Both of them start dating, but are low-key about it. Asha’s presentation is coming up, and Ravi motivates her to do her best. She nails it by talking about how her grandfather worked so hard to send her dad to America and, subsequently, how she is where she is because of that. Asha is granted the fund and given a promotion, for which she must move to London. One of the other donors was a foundation named “Red Star.”
Asha tells her sister that she has some big news. Her mother sees the message and misunderstands it to mean that Asha is getting engaged. They are ready to celebrate when Asha and Ravi come in, and it is a great surprise to them that the real news was that of Asha’s promotion. In the discussions that follow, it is revealed that they were fake dating all along. Also, Ravi confesses that he dropped out of MIT and is DJing across the world. He and Asha have a fight when he admits that he runs a foundation by the name of “Red Star.” Asha takes it to mean that he meddled in her job to get her the promotion, which must mean that he doesn’t believe in her. She is heartbroken and breaks up with him. But Ravi’s parents come around and tell him to try and talk to her. In a confrontation, Ravi tells them to stop looking for their 16-year-old son who went to MIT and instead accepts the son who is currently trying to live his life.
‘Wedding Season’ Ending Explained: Do Asha And Ravi Reconcile?
The movie wouldn’t be a rom-com if they did not get together in the end. At Asha’s sister’s wedding, which is the last one of the season, Asha has a heart-to-heart with her mother where she tells her that she wants a life for Asha where she is happy and doing what she wants. Asha realizes that she wants to get back together with Ravi and rushes to find him. Why don’t people just dial?
Anyway, she finds him on a date and gives a monologue as to how he is a good guy, and she wants him back. As soon as she confesses her feelings, she returns to the wedding, but now, her sister is missing. She finds herself crying in the closet, overwhelmed by everything. Asha reassures her that it will work out and that her fiance loves her to death.
In a surprising turn of events, it turns out that the DJ at the wedding is Ravi. His date was his cousin, whom he had taken out for lunch. The moment of reconciliation is almost perfect when an aunty tries to tell the gathering that Ravi did not actually go to MIT. But both sets of parents tell her that they should learn from their children and accept people as they are. Ravi himself lets the whole gathering know that he dropped out of college and is now pursuing his dreams. Ravi and Asha start dating, and all is well for the couple and their families.
Final Thoughts: Why Does ‘Wedding Season’ Lag So Much?
The problem is, they could have just replaced the Indian actors and weddings with American ones, and it wouldn’t have made a difference to the story. Capturing Indianness does not mean sprinkling the occasional Hindi word in the dialogues or showing that parents are obsessed with their children’s weddings. Yes, it is a prevalent discussion, but we are so done with the caricaturish nature of the trope. And the actors were given so little to work with. The cast of “Wedding Season” was excellent, especially Suraj Sharma, who played Ravi. The charm of the actor really shone through, and he was the only character we liked.
As for Asha, we don’t think she was written well. For example, she is repeatedly called “not simple,” but how exactly is she complicated? Please explain or show. Rizwan Manji, who plays Asha’s father, brought quite a few natural moments to the screen, especially the one in which he tells his daughter that he is proud of her for making her ideals come true. That moment made a place in our hearts. But it was too little to call the entire movie itself watchable, because it dragged and definitely got boring. Also, the leads, despite their excellent acting, had no chemistry. Please, romance needs chemistry. It is fundamental to a good rom-com, in fact, it is what makes such done and dusted tropes watchable. We will not forgive or forget the oversight of it. We hope that the next time somebody tries to make a romantic comedy about Indians in America, they do it with a proper understanding of the culture and complexities of life there instead of such a white-washed version, which is simply an opportunity lost.
“Wedding Season” is a 2022 romantic drama film directed by Tom Dey.