It feels like I’ve been waiting for ages for Netflix to produce another romantic comedy as glorious as Set It Up. And while there have been good ones, nothing’s hit all the marks as a film that I immediately want to rewind and rewatch. That’s why it brings me great joy to say that Netflix’s Wedding Season is the romantic comedy we’ve been waiting for.
Written by Shiwani Srivastava, the story is a delight from start to finish, with each performer bringing their A-game to create something effortlessly endearing. The problem with romantic comedies is often overacting, an overtly cheesy script that’s trying too hard, or both. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Wedding Season, as it brings to life a romance that’s easy to root for right from the start, and every character’s motive feels organic. Plus, there’s a high chance that those of us of SWANA/MENA descent could also understand the ridiculousness of nuptials and relative pressures. For as much as the film is a romance, it’s a celebration of culture, as well as a love letter to those of us who are first/second generation immigrants.
The premise isn’t unique or anything of the sort, but never underestimate how quickly a romance fan will devour anything with the “fake dating” trope. Ravi (Suraj Sharma) and Asha’s (Pallavi Sharda) parents have similar motives as they spruce up their kids’ dating profiles behind their backs, hoping to secure a match. And while the first meeting doesn’t go as planned, a second reunion at the first of many weddings, Asha suggests they pretend to be in a relationship to keep the aunties off their backs while satisfying their parents. But we all know where fake dating often leads, and it’s a glorious place.
Still, the best part about Netflix’s Wedding Season is that Asha and Ravi are both so compelling as individuals that it makes them better as a couple. It’s easy to root for them as characters, and it’s easy to want the best for them, understanding when they start to fall for one another why your own heart is fluttering in the process.
The progression from two people forced to go on a date to friends falling for one another happens as organically as it could, given the circumstances, but the sizzling chemistry between the actors makes every scene (however awkward at first) a delight to watch. There’s a moment in the montage sequence that has me in a complete chokehold because a man sincerely smiling while gazing at the woman he loves is peak romance. And well, this entire montage plus Hope Tala’s “Tiptoeing” playing is what such rom-com dreams are made of, allowing the progression of time to feel like something intimate that we’re a close part of. (Honestly, at this point, I don’t know who was more obsessed with them, their parents taking photos every chance they could get or me watching and weeping like a buffoon on my couch.)
Plus, ending the montage with the scene of them kissing in the rain followed by Asha receiving news about another chance made for the kind of joyous cut scene that’s particularly satisfying.
While the film dives deep into fake dating, its second half dabbles with the miscommunication trope, which, if not handled properly, tends to be a romance’s downfall more often than not. Thankfully, that’s not the case here, as it’s entirely understandable why Ravi keeps his charity a secret and why Asha gets upset at the thought she didn’t achieve her goals on her own. The confrontations following alongside their family are as explosive as can be because for something that involves so many people, it was never bound to be a quiet conversation. And it’s why the grand declarations at the wedding feel earned instead of too cheesy (which they are, to be accurate, but in the best way).
As characters, every key player in the film has something that matters profoundly to them, and telling their stories is also part of the film’s strength. Spanning less than two hours, it manages to do more than some lengthy blockbusters, giving viewers multiple people to care for. Alongside the two leads, Rizwan Manji, Veena Sood, Arianna Afsar, Damian Thompson, and Manoj Sood are brilliant in their embodiments, bringing a stellar balance between heart and humor to our screens throughout the film’s run. It’s a family affair, and viewers are beautifully part of the warmth.
Netflix’s Wedding Season is the love story we’ve been waiting for because it values platonic relationships as much as romantic relationships while concurrently respecting the immensity at which dreams matter. It’s a love letter and a love story, all at once, threading together a narrative for all ages.
Wedding Season is now streaming on Netflix.
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) — or, as people often call her, "Goose" — is a romance aficionado who's taken her Master's in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture. She's the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters.