3

Staff & contributors

Hilarious and sweet, Meet the Patels is a charming collaboration between siblings Geeta and Ravi Patel. While the film is a documentary, it feels more like a real-time romantic comedy - which makes sense, given that it’s about Ravi’s quest for the perfect wife. Standard tropes, such as parental disapproval, are present here, but the film keeps it fresh as it focuses on the intricacies of Indian dating, specifically with traditional matchmaking and modern internet dating. However, like some of the best romcoms, the real heart of the story lies outside of Ravi’s love life. What drives the story is the dynamic between Ravi and his family. Balancing parental expectations with personal hopes is a struggle anyone can relate to, though this film presents this through comedic debates about marriage. At the same time, these debates end up insightful and oftentimes reveal fundamental principles the family believes in. It’s only through resolving familial issues that Ravi finally figures out his love life.

Genre: Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Romance

Actor: Audrey Wauchope, Geeta Patel, Ravi Patel

Director: Geeta Patel, Ravi Patel

Rating: PG

Too Funny to Fail isn’t just a documentary about funny people. It’s a documentary that’s hilarious in its own right. Director Josh Greenbaum assembles the comedic powerhouse behind the short-lived Dana Carvey Show and has them recall the idiosyncratic, subversive skits they did on the show. They are, of course, naturally funny, but it’s the questions Greenbaum asks them off-cam, the clips he shows, and the titles he picks for them (Bill Hader, as a fan who used to watch the show in lieu of going to classes, is stuck with “once skipped school”) that gives the documentary its own comedic signature. The spectacular failure of The Dana Carvey Show is also an inspirational story of sorts, given the astronomical success its staff and cast have and are continuing to enjoy since its cancellation.

Genre: Comedy, Documentary

Actor: Bill Hader, Dana Carvey, Jon Glaser, Louis C.K., Robert Carlock, Robert Smigel, Spike Feresten, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell

Director: Josh Greenbaum

Rating: NR

Amy Berg’s documentary offers an insightful account of one of the most revered and iconic rock and roll singers of all-time, from her musical rise in the 1960s to her battle with alcohol and heroin addiction. Janis Joplin’s independent spirit and sense of not fitting in are meticulously presented in the film through archival footage, rare personal letters, and interviews with her school friends, family members, and fellow musicians. Powerfully narrated by musician Cat Power, Janis: Little Girl Blue presents a profoundly nuanced and very personal portrait of Janis Joplin, in a well-curated homage to an artist who changed music forever.

Genre: Documentary, Drama, Music

Actor: Cat Power, D. A. Pennebaker, Dick Cavett, Janis Joplin, Karleen Bennett, Laura Joplin, Peter Albin

Director: Amy J. Berg