” Ask any woman in an arranged marriage. Love is the least stressful way out.”

— Fay Weldon “The Spa”

Hollywood actors have learned from the old pros, Jimmy Stewart, Brad Pitt and George Clooney, to name a few, to get smart, stop depending on the endless, futile casting calls and take the wheel in their own hands.

Thus we get Ravi Patel’s (“Transformers,” “Grandfathered”) homemade documentary, “Meet the Patels,” a journey through the life of his sweet, American immigrant family.

The Patels, we learn, are only one of the some 60 million Patels in India. Ravi tells us straight out, “Ravi Patel is like John Jones in America. There are millions of us in India.”

Ravi is a moderately successful actor who lives in Hollywood, seemingly somewhere near his family, Daddy Vasant and Mama Champa, who are the fruit of a successful arranged marriage somewhere back in India.

Daddy is a self-made successful businessman who did all right by himself in America. He’s a jovial, funny character who looks like a stand-up comic gnome.

Mama tends to the family cuisine and adds her own brand of subtle comedy to the picture. Mama is no old country wife toddling around in a sari, but is still tethered to the strict ancient ways. She runs her house like a ship, but only as a first mate with papa Patel firmly in charge.

Ravi’s sister and assistant director and camerawoman is mostly hidden behind the camera, tossing ideas, one liners and suggestions to her brother as he spends the one hour and 28 minutes talking.

Ravi never stops talking, as his job here is to tell the story of a young Indian-American at the deadline age of 30 who, still struggling with his own identity and place in the scheme of things, seems about to fall in line with the past.

Clearly, from the minute he comes on screen splitting his time between flesh and blood and a series of cartoons about himself and his family, we can see that Ravi is probably a pretty good actor. He’s glib and super loquacious, always on his toes, riveting us with his big, brown eyes and stunned responses.

However, throughout the documentary we’re treated to an endless rap of self-deprecating humor about how hard it is for him to commit.

Giving into pressure from Indian buddies and his family, Ravi sets out on a journey to find a proper wife, Indian of course, because it’s impressed on us early on that practically no one over 50 has any desire to color outside the ancient lines.

When a few headstrong, educated young folks do, it’s the ladies who break out. Big surprise.

At the beginning we meet Ravi’s all-American Audrey, a hip, bright and attractive redheaded white girl who clearly adores him, but isn’t going to spend a lot of time putting up with this traditional stuff. We cheer her on.

To make matters worse, Ravi has kept Audrey a secret from his family for some time, and when they find out, they feel betrayed and hurt.

So Ravi is literally forced to start a search for a proper Indian bride. He takes us along on an Indian singles convention, speed dating and meetings with girls, an endless pilgrimage that criss-crosses the country and India. That’s the funniest part of the documentary.

As he plods through his endless arrangement of dates, he has to sort through sheaves of “biodata” packets of resumes sent out on the media by young, eligible Indians and assorted South Asians.

Much of the documentary has its moments of fun, color and charm, but chopped up with the fast annoying cartoons, it soon grows tiresome.

We are not surprised to find, at the end, that the candy-colored world of Apple, Starbucks, Facebook and the blissful blending of races, like true love, wins out, and that “Meet The Pavels” would have found a better home with Netflix instead of on movie screens.

It’s my feeling that a “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” type movie, employing the growing Hollywood pool of very talented South Asians, would have been a better idea. Nice try, Ravi. Namaste.

J.P. Devine is a former stage and screen actor.

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