American Chai Reviews

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Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 14, 2003
This ethnic family sitcom thing is rapidly turning into wearisome cliche, and American Chai doesn't hold a candle to either Beckham or Greek Wedding.
Merle Bertrand
Film Threat
December 8, 2002
The funniest, most unabashadly goofy indie film to come out in quite some time.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Mark Olsen
L.A. Weekly
October 7, 2002
Chai's structure and pacing are disconcertingly slack.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2002
By now, I've seen far too many American indie movies with similar semi-autobiographical subjects.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
June 7, 2002
[It's] difficult to get beyond the overall blandness of American Chai, despite its likable performances and refreshingly naive point of view.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 21, 2002
Plays like a toddler running along a lumpy field, stumbling every few feet but always getting back up and eventually reaching his destination, unharmed and happy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rasmi Simhan
Dallas Morning News
May 16, 2002
American Chai encourages rueful laughter at stereotypes only an Indian-American would recognize. And the lesson, in the end, is nothing new.
Full Review | Original Score: C
David Noh
Film Journal International
April 30, 2002
Due to some script weaknesses and the casting of the director's brother, the film trails off into inconsequentiality.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 18, 2002
The picture uses humor and a heartfelt conviction to tell a story about discovering your destination in life, but also acknowledging the places, and the people, from whence you came.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
April 15, 2002
An inexperienced director, Mehta has much to learn.
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide
April 5, 2002
Enormously likable first feature from writer-director Anurag Mehta.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Paul Clinton (Boxoffice)
Boxoffice Magazine
April 5, 2002
The movie is amateurish, but it's a minor treat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews
April 5, 2002
It is too bad that this likable movie isn't more accomplished. The actors try hard but come off too amateurish and awkward.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
April 5, 2002
A perceptive, good-natured movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

E! Online
April 5, 2002
This worldly dramedy can't overcome its jolting amateur vibe.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Megan Turner
New York Post
April 5, 2002
A slight but sweet film.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
April 5, 2002
A spiffy romantic comedy about how love can be a catalyst to self-esteem and answering an artistic calling.
Top Critic
Lawrence Van Gelder
New York Times
April 4, 2002
In its understanding, often funny way, it tells a story whose restatement is validated by the changing composition of the nation.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
David Ehrenstein
New Times
April 4, 2002
Though the climactic revelation and resolution is expected, the film is full of fresh and unexpected observations about the cross-culturally complex lives of second-generation Indians living in the U.S.
Top Critic
Ed Park
Village Voice
April 2, 2002
As earnest as a community-college advertisement, American Chai is enough to make you put away the guitar, sell the amp, and apply to medical school.
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