MEETING THE SUMDEES

MARKHAM STREET FILMS INC. - as PROD

Comedy - Development 2017


    • Year of production
    • 2017
    • Genres
    • Comedy
    • Countries
    • CANADA, INDIA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Writer(s)
    • Judy HOLM
    • Producer(s)
    • Judy HOLM (Markham Street Films), Michael MCNAMARA (Markham Street Films)
    • Synopsis
    • Meeting the Sumdees tells story of the coming together of two cultures as a set of WASP Canadian parents become in-laws to a modern Islamic woman, her parents and, by extension, their entire family in Pakistan.

      When Sam and Laila meet, sparks fly and in fairly short order, they are getting married. But that isn’t all. Sam announces that he is becoming a Muslim, to appease Laila’s parents. Nice WASP liberals that they are, Sam’s parents Anne and David question why someone would have to do that today, but they go along with Sam.

      Before the wedding, Sam, Anne and David find themselves thrown into Pakistani customs. They learn to dance Bollywood style, they eat spicey while people hover over them to see if they will expire and the women and men are separated. A lot.

      The wedding is a days long affair in Toronto with both Muslim/Pakistani and non Pakistani evenings. Anne and David and their friends go out of their way to make sure they don’t run afoul of any Pakistani rules.

      After the wedding, Nasir and Yasmeen plan a ‘wedding tour’ of Pakistan. To the chagrin of Laila, they invite Anne and David to come along. Laila would much prefer the trip to be only about her. And the battle lines are drawn.

      The group arrives in Karachi where Anne is almost overwhelmed by the chaos and crowds. They have to navigate their way through American Express offices with guards packing machine guns and a kafkaesque ordering of lunch in the colonial lodge where they are
      staying. David is felled by food poisoning. Once he recovers, they embark on a seemingly endless tour of houses and they must dine in each of them for etiquette’s sake.

      From Karachi they go to Rawalpindi. Now Sam has come down with food poisoning. But they all are honoured guests at a big reception planned by Yasmeen’s relatives and so he attends. At the end of the evening, practising her Urdu by saying goodnight to each person, Anne has lost tack of who hugs whom, and hugs everyone. The last relative is strictly religious and touches no women. But, to be polite, he allows her to hug him, much to the hilarity of the others.

      From Rawalpindi the group heads to Multan, an ancient city, where Nasir’s older brother, a retired English professor, holds court. Over the entire visit, he drones on, seeming to be telling them that they are infidels and will go to hell.

      The group go on a road trip to the Himalays. By this time, Anne is increasingly annoyed about not being allowed to pay for anything, being pushed around by Yasmeen and being separated from her husband and son. Laila thinks that Anne has been embarrassing and takes it out on Sam.

      Good times.

      However, just when it seems that everything has gone sideways, the sun comes out and everyone realizes how beautiful it is and just how lucky they are. Canadians, Pakistanis, WASPS, Muslims. Families are the same around the world and Yasmeen and Anne realize that they are, in fact, just two mothers afraid of losing their kids.
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