Release date2001 CastKal Penn (Ajay), Purva Bedi (Nina), Deep Katdare (Kris) Similar moviesThe House Bunny, Bend It Like Beckham, King Frat, College, East Is East, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
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American Desi is a 2001 American film with Indian influence, notable for featuring many prominent South Asian American actors. Also featured is an a cappella version of Nazia Hassan's Urdu classic "Aap Jaisa Koi", sung by Penn Masala and originally from the movie Qurbani. The term Desi in the title refers to the peoples and cultures of the Indian subcontinent.
An American-raised Indian, Krishnagopal Reddy (or "Kris" as he prefers to be called, to distance himself from his heritage) finds out to his dismay that his Rutgers University roommates are all Indian. He does not associate with the Indian culture that his parents and family have pushed upon him and prefers to be as American as possible. His roommates include Ajay (Kal Penn), an African-American idolizing desi; Jagjit, who loves art but studies engineering to please his father; and Salim, who is very traditional and conservative, feeling that Indian-American girls are too Westernized to make good wives.
Kris meets Nina, a girl he immediately falls for, and is surprised to find out that not only is she Indian, but she is also quite involved with Indian culture. The movie revolves around him making mistakes and trying his best to win Nina over, from joining the Indian Students Association to be near her, to learning how to perform a Dandiya Raas. Thus, Kris eventually begins to enjoy the company of his roommates, all of whom put together their knowledge and skill to help Kris impress Nina through various ways involving the Indian culture, which he eventually comes to love as well.