If you haven’t seen the movie, you should! But I will still summarize it and then re-write it real quick for India, just so you can get a headstart on recasting, if you want.
Basic original plot (SPOILERS! The original film doesn’t quite go in the direction you might think it will):
Our heroine is secretly in love with her big sister’s boyfriend, who was her friend first. She writes him a love letter, never planning to send it, and puts it with 4 other letters she has written to past crushes. Somehow, the letters get sent. To cover her feelings for her sister’s boyfriend, she agrees to pretend to be dating another boy who got a letter, who wants to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. But then she falls in love with the second boy and is conflicted about her feelings for her past crush, and his feelings for his girlfriend, and the situation is finally resolved when she talks to her big sister and realizes she is just afraid and reaching out for true love and should trust her feelings for the second boy.
Now, Indian rewrite:
Obviously we have to increase the ages a little and make this engagements instead of high school dating. The heroine is good friend with her supervisor at the hospital where she is interning, but he ends up being suggested as a fiance for her big sister, who is more beautiful and charming and outgoing than the heroine. She hides her feelings, because the couple is so happy and in love, but she writes a letter she never plans to send to the fiance. Then the sister and the fiance have a big fight right before the sister leaves for a new job overseas (the fight is over whether she should take the job). The sister says she is breaking the engagement, and suddenly the heroine is left to wonder what is the right thing to do, and wish her dead mother was there to help her.
Because this is the Indian version, it is all about showing right away with no twists. So we see the younger brother of the household overhear her and then sneak into her room and take all the letters and mail them, clearly wanting to somehow help with her dilemma. The next day at the hospital, she is approached by a boy who went to school with her and whose family is sort of in the same circle as hers. He asks to talk to her, she is busy, but agrees to have lunch in the hospital cafeteria. And then he nicely tells her he isn’t interested, she probably heard his engagement to his high school sweetheart fell apart, but he isn’t ready to rush into anything new. Which is when she realizes that her letters must have been sent, including the one she wrote to him back in high school. And freaks out because that means her sister’s fiancee/her boss must have also gotten a letter. She seems him coming towards her at the cafeteria now and to avoid a conversation, grabs the other boy and hugs him.
When her shift is over, the boy is waiting to give her a ride home in his fancy sports car. While she went the route of studying hard and getting into med school, he went the route of business school and getting rich at a fancy job working for his girlfriend’s Dad. She kind of looks down on him for it, but he pokes her a bit about somehow feeling it is more virtuous to study hard and be a doctor than do a good job and get paid well for it. And he suggests they make a deal, his family is pushing him to get engaged again and he just isn’t ready. If she will be his fake girlfriend/fiancee to protect him from his family, he will be her fake boyfriend/fiance to help her get over the awkwardness of having just accidentally told her sister’s fiance she is in love with him.
They spend time together and slowly get to know each other, he listens and really seems to care when she talks about her problems, and he confesses to her that his parents’ divorce still bothers him, that part of what he lost with his break-up with his ex is the close father-son relationship with her father. She admits that she never confessed her feelings or went after any romance because it was just easier to keep her head down and not take risks, which is the same reason she isn’t applying for the difficult mission trip she kind of wants to do. It all comes to a head when she has to go to with him as his date to his exes destination wedding. He sings her a song at the party, and it feels like real love (which she has been half thinking it might be), she goes to his room that night to confess her feelings, and the ex-girlfriend answers the door, so she just walks away. He tries to talk to her the next day, she shuts it down and says that they were always faking, right? Just have to get through this last day and then it’s over.
She returns home to find her older sister has returned and talked to the ex and knows everything. Big family fight, she is accused of ruining her sister’s engagement and then going off for an overnight trip with another man (she lied about going to the wedding, said she was going with a friend, and the family found that out too). She bursts out all her emotions in the middle of it, that she is sick of being the “safe” one, sick of giving up her dreams so everyone else can have theirs, and she is going to go on the 6 week mission trip and they can’t stop her, she is going to her friends house for the next couple of days and then leaving.
But when they get to the airport and she sees everyone else saying good-bye to their families, she starts to tear up. Just in time for her whole family to show up to say good-bye. They love her no matter what, they are sorry they let her down and didn’t see all she was going through. And, surprise, they got to the airport in time because her fake boyfriend called them and told them when she was leaving and that she really did want them all to come and say good-bye.
Jump forward 6 weeks, same airport, she looks for someone to meet her and there is Fake Boyfriend, waiting and smiling at her. She goes over to him, he pulls out the same ring she angrily gave back to him (the fake engagement ring that at some point she learned really was a family heirloom which made her think he actually liked her until she saw him with his ex), and asks “want to wear this again? for real this time?”
Okay, I’m happy with all this! But we still have to cast it.
I want Taapsee as the older sister, cool and confident and smart and and effortlessly pretty. And for our heroine I am going to resist the Alia urge. Hmm. Bhumi maybe? For the older sister’s fiance, maybe Ayushmann? Nice and thoughtful and secretly handsome, the kind a quiet studious shy girl would be friends with and have a crush on. And for our hero, the cool rich cocky type who is secretly super nice and kind and sensitive??? Boy, this is legitimately hard! It’s a great role for Shahrukh in the mid-90s, but not now. Maybe Dulquer?
And for those of you who actually care enough to read this post, please let me know what you think! And come back to this post after you WATCH THIS MOVIE (because you really should).
UPDATE: Oh oh! I just had a brilliant thought! In the original, there was a thing about the heroine and her sisters being half-Korean on their mother’s side. It wasn’t a big thing at all, it was just a small part of all the things that set them aside as a family. We can do the same thing in the remake if we make their mother white. And we can cast Kalki as the oldest sister and Alia as our heroine, so their real life ethnicities will match their characters. And Alia’s Mom in a flashback as their Mom. And their hot widower Dad can be……Anil? Bobby Deal?