Based on the 1963 play Rafta Rafta, this lively comedy-drama is a story of delayed satisfaction in the Indian subculture in Bolton, northwest England. The characters and situations are entertaining, even if it all feels somewhat stagey and corny.
On the day of their colourful wedding, Atul and Vina (Ritchie and Karan) are endlessly delayed by family business, traditions and the drunken antics of Atul's father Eeshwar (Patel), which his patient mother Lopa (Syal) just about tolerates. And being in a room next to his parents makes their wedding night less than satisfying. But it gets worse when their honeymoon is cancelled. And the growing pressure - from helpful parents, nosey neighbours, work colleagues and Atul's cheeky title brother (Mohan) - to consummate the relationship is just too much to bear.
The film's bustling tone obscures the story's theatrical roots, even if most of the action takes place in the dialog. Right from the start, everything is so crazy-busy, and everyone speaks with the same smart-snappy voice, that we have to work to figure out the interconnections. That said, Ritchie and Karan are sexy and thoroughly endearing. We root for them to overcome the obstacles to their relationship, even if nothing seems nearly as traumatic as they think it is.
On the other hand, Eeshwar and Lopa are a bit less likeable. They're very well played by Patel and Syal, and in many ways the whole film belongs to Patel's frenzied comical performance. But just a moment of rational thought on Eeshwar's part would end all the melodrama, as would Lopa if she stood up to him instead of comically rolling her eyes and half-heartedly nudging him.
Combined with some slapstick plotting and physical silliness, all of this makes the film feel like a sitcom stretched to feature length.
As the farcical rom-com escalates, the story touches on some genuinely resonant themes, including Atul's crisis of confidence and some rather dark issues he has with his father. And there's also a gentle exploration of the clash between the European and old-country cultures. But in the end it's all a bit simplistic, resolving into a cute little tale of a couple trying desperately to block out the chaos around them and start their life together.