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Finding the right partner is one of the hardest things to do in life, and director Roshan Sethi‘s “A Nice Indian Boy” captures a same-sex, interracial love story in the most tender and honest way. This film has everything you’d ever want in a traditional rom-com, from sincere performances, a touching story, and charismatic characters, to a vibrant identity that’s very funny, romantic, and sweet. When I left this emotional powerhouse of a movie, my heart was full and my eyes were filled with happy tears.

Naveen (Karan Soni) is a successful (and lovably self-effacing) doctor. His traditional parents Megha (Zarna Garg) and Archit (Harish Patel) and older sister Arundhathi (Sunita Mani) provide much love and support, having embraced Naveen’s sexuality years ago. They are supportive, even if sometimes they don’t quite understand what his life is all about (at least they are constantly trying to learn). When Naveen meets Jay (Jonathan Groff), a white man adopted by two Indian parents, the two have an instant connection and begin dating. It doesn’t take long for the two to fall in love and decide to get married. Since Jay has no longer has any family of his own and Naveen has never introduced a serious boyfriend to his folks, breaking the news about their impending nuptials isn’t going to be easy. This causes a lot of chaos and commotion as a big Indian wedding is soon to be in the works.

Although the film is based on a play (by Madhuri Shekar), the film version feels anything but stagy. This in itself is a massive accomplishment for which Sethi deserves major kudos. The very honest portrayal of family dynamics is spot-on, and the relationship between Naveen, his sister, and parents is authentic and insightful. The script is witty and astute, with an open and honest dialogue that stems from casual, conversational writing. There are memorable discussions about everything from being stuck in a loveless relationship to the jealousy of the freedom of younger generations, particularly in the traditional Indian culture where arranged marriages were encouraged and forging your own path and following your heart was not.

Some of the humor here comes across as culturally specific, but it’s still universal and will be relatable to anyone who has ever been in love. The cast really makes it all work, with believable and endearing turns from everyone involved. I absolutely adored all of these characters, and it was a pleasure to spend time with them.

Despite a few predictable moments, “A Nice Indian Boy” works because it never rings false. This is an irresistible story of love, kindness, and acceptance that goes 10 for 10 on the romance and charm.

By: Louisa Moore