‘Hot Mess Holiday’: Diwali-themed Film Starring Kal Penn, Melanie Chandra to Premiere on Comedy Central
Indian American actors Kal Penn, Melanie Chandra (c) and Surina Jindal star in “Hot Mess Holiday,” which will premiere on Comedy Central Dec. 11. (Maarten de Boer photo; photos provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
On Dec. 11, “Hot Mess Holiday,” an irresistibly fresh Diwali-themed feature film starring and executive produced by Indian American comedy legend Kal Penn, will make its debut on Comedy Central.
Written and executive produced by award-winning comedy writer Sameer Gardezi (“Modern Family”), “Hot Mess Holiday” is inspired by the real-life friendship of Indian American co-stars Surina Jindal (“Outsourced”) and Melanie Chandra (“Code Black”). The comedic duo co-star in the film and also executive produce alongside Penn, Gardezi and Gunpowder & Sky.
In the film, when an overachieving young finance executive is unceremoniously dumped by her cheating fiancé during the Diwali holidays, her free-spirited bestie is determined to help her get lit. Along with their outrageous crew, they embark on a wild holiday adventure to party across Chicago, but when they come into possession of a multi-million-dollar diamond, their messy antics place their entire posse in danger.
The cast includes Tituss Burgess, Chris Parnell, Punam Patel, Richa Moorjani, Nik Dodani, Kunal Dudheker, Chris Geere, Aparna Nancherla, Ravi Patel and Lilly Singh, Desmond Chiam and Ritesh Rajan.
The film is directed by Jaffar Mahmood.
“I stalkingly tracked down Surina and Melanie after a friend showed me their short film – I couldn’t believe it hadn’t already been turned into a feature or television show and I needed to know why! The two of them are so hilarious in real-life, and our sherpa-scribe Sameer Gardezi heightens their personalities in incredible ways,” Penn said. “Surina and Melanie’s relationship reminds me of great duos with tremendous chemistry… Add to that a festive Diwali holiday backdrop and you have something special.”
“Hot Mess Holiday,” explained Penn, feels like “‘Bridesmaids’ meets ‘Broad City’ except their go-to hangout is a chai shop, the wedding dress is at the beginning, and there’s no diarrhea…or is there?”
“Hot Mess Holiday” is “our ode” to a whole generation of South Asian Americans who never saw themselves on the screen, with a holiday twist, noted Gardezi.
“Surina and I are so proud of this movie. Despite seven years of knocking on doors, countless rejections, false starts, a global pandemic to boot, we never stopped believing that a project like this needed to exist in the world,” said Chandra. “We’ve created something so specific, zany yet so relatable, and most importantly, it’s really meaningful. This is a big moment for the South Asian community — it’s the first buddy comedy starring and executive produced by two South Asian women to hit mainstream TV. It’s the type of representation on and off screen I wish I had growing up!”