A Nice Indian Boy Review: Karan Soni & Jonathan Groff Are Perfect Together In Heartfelt Rom-Com




A Nice Indian Boy is a film that perfectly blends romance and comedy, and throws in culture and a whole lot of heart to go with it.


  •  Naveen & Jay’s touching romance is the heart of A Nice Indian Boy.
  •  Karan Soni & Jonathan Groff’s chemistry shines.
  •  The family dynamic adds depth and emotion to A Nice Indian Boy.

There are many romantic comedies released that are neither romantic or funny. It’s a difficult balance to maintain, with the comedy often overpowering any genuine romance, as filmmakers opt for flimsy or superficial pairings. I had that on my mind when I walked into A Nice Indian Boy, a film that perfectly blends romance and comedy and throws in culture and a whole lot of heart to go with it. Karan Soni and Hamilton’s Jonathan Groff are pitch-perfect together, and the obstacles they face — internal and family-related — are handled with care and love.

Directed by Roshan Sethi, who’s working off a screenplay by Eric Randall, A Nice Indian Boy has everything you could want from a rom-com: Lead actors with chemistry, touching moments, a plot that isn’t contrived, and family involvement that is more authentic than silly. It follows Naveen (Soni), a doctor who meets Jay (Groff), a photographer, at an Indian temple. When they begin to date, Naveen is hesitant, still uncomfortable with the amount of affection and emotion Jay displays. This is primarily because his parents (Harish Patel and Zarna Garg) know he’s gay, but don’t exactly know how to act or be supportive.

A Nice Indian Boy’s Family Dynamic Enriches The Story

The film is split into four chapters that tell Naveen and Jay’s love story, leading to Jay meeting Naveen’s family. Much of the conflict arises from Naveen’s parents feeling distant from him, while Naveen has purposefully created that distance to protect himself from their discomfort. Naveen’s relationship with Jay opens up the doors of communication and love, leaving Naveen with more than his previous assumptions. The family dynamic is well-developed, emotionally deep and deeply funny at the same time.

The rom-com brings love and humor to the table while tackling a story with tenderness, wearing its heart on its sleeve without shame.

Naveen’s family, including sister Arundhathi (Sunita Mani), isn’t simply there to be his support system; they have their own complexities and issues to deal with. A Nice Indian Boy, which is based on the play by Madhuri Shekar, is not about contriving drama for drama’s sake. Rather, it’s a layered story that is true to the characters, with their emotional journeys driving the narrative forward and making the film all the richer for it. The cultural specificity of the film is also quite lovely, grounding the story while keeping it focused, with the supporting characters adding meaning to the narrative.

In addition to Naveen’s relationship with his family, the romance at the center of the film is beautifully crafted and gets to the heart of its characters. Even the drama Naveen and Jay face helps them grow closer together, especially as Naveen realizes that his family can’t be avoided. Neither the writing nor directing is afraid to get sentimental, and the big moments are both moving and infused with some hilarity. A touch of Bollywood, courtesy of the classic Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, elevates an already exceptional rom-com and reminds us why we love this genre to begin with.

Karan Soni & Jonathan Groff Are Fantastic Together

Of course, a rom-com would be nothing without the romantic chemistry between its leads, and Soni and Groff deliver above and beyond on that front. Groff’s piercing stares are filled with love and heat, and he manages to bring warmth and adorable corniness to a role that could have easily been disingenuously cheesy. Soni, on the other hand, leans into the hesitance and discomfort of his character, though the actor makes sure to showcase the desire and love brimming beneath the surface.

It’s with Soni’s character, in particular, that A Nice Indian Boy underscores how shame and fear can live in someone’s body, even as he tries to fight it and open up every step of the way. In many ways, Naveen’s relationship gave him the space to fall in love with Jay, but with himself, too, especially as he begins to shed the fear of wanting the very things he’d closed the door on before. The rom-com is more than just a romantic love story — it’s also one of familial and self-love.

Gorgeously told, A Nice Indian Boy is not only elevated by a fantastic cast with great comedic timing, but by an excellent score and tight storytelling. Its themes are strong, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome, carefully weaving together a multilayered narrative that has solid chapters that come together in an emotional ending that left me overwhelmed with its sincerity. All told, the rom-com brings love and humor to the table while tackling a story with tenderness, wearing its heart on its sleeve without shame.