This is gonna be a pretty short review, not a lot to talk about Deeply. But I know a lot of us have already watched the movie and I wanted a place for us to chat without ruining things for the others.
Our heroine Pallavi Sharda is working for a microloan company in New Jersey, trying to get funding to help women around the world get microloans and make the world better. Her mother is pressuring her to get married especially as her sister Arianna Afsar is about to get married. To make her mother happy, Pallavi agrees to go on an online date with a “perfect” nice local boy Suraj Sharma. They don’t click, but then bump into each other at another wedding and Pallavi suggests they go to the rest of the weddings of the summer together so everyone in the community stops bothering them. As they go to more and more weddings together, they fall in love and start a relationship for real, but keep it quiet. Pallavi also learns that Suraj isn’t the “perfect” boy, but in fact dropped out of MIT to become a DJ. And then Pallavi is offered a promotion at work so she can help people more, but learns it is partly because of a donation from Suraj’s secret foundation. She fights with him because she thinks he is patronizing her. But then she has a long conversation with her Dad about how proud he is of her, and a long conversation with her Mom about how she should just be happy, and realizes she succeeded on her own and should get back with Suraj. Meanwhile Suraj has a long conversation with his parents about how he has succeeded in his own way and they shouldn’t be ashamed. And then there’s ANOTHER long speech and Suraj and Pallavi get together at her sister’s wedding. HAPPY ENDING.
The best bit of the movie, so far as I am concerned, is Pallavi’s sister Ariana’s relationship with her fiance. For one thing, the way her white fiance over compensates and tries to fit in with her Indian family is HILARIOUS. For another, there is a lot less talky talky in their relationship and a lot more showy-showy. And the resolution is a great because it is no resolution! Ariana struggles with getting married to this dude who is suddenly trying waaaaaaaay too hard, and her fiance struggles because he feels like he is not giving her enough of what she needs. And the ending is just…they let it go. He shows up for the wedding on a fake elephant, and she manages to just laugh about it and say “I love you”. They love each other, all this wedding stress is stupid, just let it go.
Second best part of the movie is Pallavi’s job. It’s your typical “I really care about my job and I focus on work instead of relationships” plot. But it’s something that ACTUALLY MATTERS! And no one argues with her about that either. Like, her sister and her love interest and her co-workers and everyone is on the same page of “yeah Pallavi, you should be overworking, you aren’t crazy, this stuff can change the world”. Even to the point of Suraj donating money to her group not because he loves Pallavi and wants her to stop working so hard but because he believes in what she is doing and wants to give her the resources to work even harder.
Whenever I watch a rom-com that focuses on career as part of the story, I have a hard time because I’m always thinking “why should I care?” It feels like sometimes that storyline is written more for folks who are unsatisfied with their working lives, like the idea of being in a fancy office and doing fancy things and don’t care about the details. As someone who is actually working, I need more than that! I care about the details! But this film in particular took the time to create a job that actually exists (not “magazine writer” or something), and a job that actually matters and you can understand why the heroine cares about it.
And on the other hand, they gave our hero a job that is kind of stupid (sorry, but, DJ?) and then added on his charitable foundation that ACTUALLY MATTERS. So both of them are doing a thing that fulfills them, even if it isn’t what their parents planned for their lives, and also trying to give back to the world. When they say “I’m too busy to date”, it’s not some illogical stupid obstacle, it’s a real thing. And conversely, when she gets her big promotion to London, no one says “well you have to choose love or career”, everyone is pretty clear that a) this promotion is awesome and she shouldn’t turn it down, and b) there are lots of ways to figure out long distance.
All of that is GREAT, the flaw is that it doesn’t go quite far enough. I feel like maybe this script was original twice as long, and then got cut back, and ended up getting cut back a bit too far. We know our heroine had a broken engagement with a “perfect” guy, but we never meet the guy at any of the weddings, or get more details as to what happened there. And our hero says that dropping out of MIT and becoming a DJ “saved his life”, but we don’t get a lot more about that either. Instead of the nothing conflict that breaks them up before the happy ending, we could have had her fiance reappear and beg forgiveness, and him have another nervous breakdown, or something. But I say that and think “that feels like it would be a 2 hour movie instead of 90 minutes”. So I see why they didn’t bring in those last minute plots. Still, there needs to be something slightly more in some way I can’t figure out, but hope that the next movie by these same collaborators will solve.