Lesser Known Rom-Com List Repost (Welcome Back FilmiLibrarian!)

FilmiLibrarian has been watching movies like a FIEND, much more than I have lately. And they are all rom-coms, which made me want to revisit my posts about rom-coms.

Here’s the rules: No Khans, no blockbuster hits, no big critical acclaim films, and nothing that is over 25 years old.  We are looking for semi-recent mainstream Hindi films that aren’t part of the usual “these are the films you MUST watch” list.  They don’t have to be brilliant films, just enjoyable ones that you may never know to watch unless someone suggests them to you.

Oh, and for this list, nothing sad or deep, just happy silly romances.

Aiyyaa : Wonderful female focused strange movie.  Rani Mukherjee is a dreamy girl with a crazy family who is torn between her very nice but dull fiancee and her sensitive artist dream man Prithviraj.

Befikre : A very recent film which somehow came and went without notice.  Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor, set in Paris and very French-feeling, a couple who break up, become best friends, fall in love with other people…….but did they ever really stop loving each other? (SPOILERS: no, of course they didn’t)

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Daawat-E-Ishq : One of the all time greatest “small overlooked rom-coms”.  Parineeti Chopra is a smart middle class girl who pretends to be rich in order to entrap an evil rich family into demanding dowry so she can blackmail them.  Only, the evil family’s son is quirky funky bright shirt wearing delicious food making Aditya Roy Kapoor….what if against all odds she falls in love with him? (SPOILERS: of course she does)

Dil Maange More : Not a great movie, but watchable and kind of endearing, like a stupid puppy.  Shahid Kapoor is torn between his first girlfriend, the cool girl from work, and the difficult girl who lives upstairs.  Who will he pick????

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Happy Bhaag Jayegi : A sleeper hit that did get a some notice, enough that it is getting a sequel.  Diana Penty is running away from her wedding but accidentally hides in the wrong truck and ends up across the border in Pakistan in Abhay Deol’s house, while her boyfriend is back in India trying to find her since the elopement went wrong.

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Hulchul : Heavy on the “comedy” half of the rom-com, but still romantic! Akshaye Khanna and Kareena Kapoor are the youngest of two feuding families and going to the same college.  As part of the feud, they each decide to pretend to be in love with the other and break their heart.  But what if they fall in love…..FOR REAL???? (SPOILERS: of course they do)

Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na : Actually was a minor hit the year it came out, but it’s been forgotten since then as Imraan Khan’s career did not take off in the way it promised to.  Imraan Khan and Genelia D’Souza are best friends who swear they are “just friends”, not in love, Genelia and the rest of their college gang decide to help born romantic Imraan find the perfect girl, but will Genelia turn out to actually be okay with this or not? (SPOILERS: Not, boys and girls are never really just friends)

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Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai : An older one!  Salman Khan and Twinkle Khanna in a surprisingly charming romance about a playboy who reforms for the woman he falls in love with, but then a surprise from his past threatens to derail their romance.

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Jhoom Barabar Jhoom : One of my secret favorite films!  A confident talkative lower class go-getter tries to talk up a trying-to-be-classier-than-she-is shop girl as they both wait for trains at some station in London.  They fall in love, but what about their respective fiances? (SPOILERS: No spoilers, the plot is too surprising to ruin)

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Khoobsurat : Princess Diaries remixed and almost completely changed, but still wonderful!  Sonam Kapoor is a loud brash Punjabi physical therapist brought in to help a dignified traditionally royal family.  But will she be able to get along with their dignified buttoned down son, Fawad Khan?  Could she turn out to be exactly what they all needed to shake up their lives (SPOILERS: yes)

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Kuch Na Kaho : A flashback romance!  To Aish and Abhi long before they were married or even thinking about dating, but already had great chemistry.  Aish is given the job by her boss (Abhi’s uncle) of finding the perfect girl for Abhi to FINALLY get married.  Of course, Abhi realizes that Aish herself is the perfect girl, but then….TWIST! (SPOILERS: yeah, no spoilers here either, you really shouldn’t see it coming)

Mujhse Dosti Karoge : should have been a hit, but wasn’t, big star cast and everything, but still failed somehow and thus qualifies for this list!  Hrithik thinks he has been emailing beautiful Kareena Kapoor since they were little kids, but in fact his penpal was Kareena’s best friend “plain” Rani Mukherjee.  When he comes to visit for the first time, Rani convinces Kareena to pretend she wrote the letters.  Will Hrithik see through the charade?  Or will a whole series of other complications end up happening? (SPOILERS: the second)

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Raabta : Second to Running Shaadi as my favorite forgotten rom-com of 2017!  Totally ridiculous reincarnation and evil exes and Budapest location and all kinds of fun stuff.  Plus awesome chemistry between the central love triangle, Kriti Sonam and Sushant Singh Rajput and Jim Sarbh.

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Running Shaadi : I love love love this movie!  The directing isn’t perfect, the camerawork is kind of dull and stuff like that, but the performances are great and the plot is delightful.  And I am in love with Amit Sadh forever and ever and ever and ever.  Oh, and bonus, thanks to the plot of Amit acting as a consultant/planner for runaway weddings, you get to learn all about the legalities of marriages in India.

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Shubh Mangal Saavdhan : Another recent one!  A minor hit which didn’t get as much critical acclaim or discussion as the other minor hit of the summer (Bareilly Ki Barfi, the critical acclaim is what disqualifies it for this list).  Ayushmann Khurranna and Bhumi Pednaker meet each other and like each other and talk to their families and get engaged.  And then there is a completely surprising and original problem that threatens to derail the wedding and their love story. (SPOILERS no really, very surprising.  It was spoiled in the trailer, but if you didn’t see the trailer, you should go in fresh)

Image result for shubh mangal saavdhan poster

Socha Na Tha : A semi-classic and semi-critically acclaimed, but not really so it still makes this list.  Imtiaz Ali, who went on to be artsy and impressive and so on, started with this nice little unassumingly sweet rom-com.  Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia are immature and growing up and have an immediate connection despite her being a good girl who never rebels and him being an immature younger son who is planning to propose to his secret girlfriend.  And then a whooooooooole bunch of stuff happens.

23 thoughts on “Lesser Known Rom-Com List Repost (Welcome Back FilmiLibrarian!)

  1. Love this repost! Thanks! Most I have seen and loved as well but I love seeing your takes. Hulchul is such an interesting movie. Some of the comedy really works for me (which is always tough with the language barrier) and Kareena and Akshaye actually have some really decent and fun chemistry. This may have also been the movie where I developed a side crush on Suniel Shetty?

    I think I’ll try Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai. Not the biggest Salman fan, but occasionally he works for me. Always wanted to see how “bad” an actress Twinkle really was and have never watched her in anything. I HAVE read all of her books though and she’s much more interesting to me than Akshay ever will be.

    Raabta as a rom-com?! I’ve been meaning to revisit this one for ever. I loved it when I saw it and I do recall the first half being a perfect meet cute/love sequence. I haven’t yet been able to watch a Sushant movie (it’s like watching Heath Ledger movies for me now…sometimes just too sad). Really want to rewatch Kedarnath (my fave performance of his maybe and certainly my fave Sara performance so far) and have never seen Sonchiriya though I really need to eventually.

    And I would argue that Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is one of the weirdest but most clever Hindi rom-com ever. I listened to that soundtrack on repeat for months.

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      • Yeah definitely. That side trip with the always weird Jim Sarbh is out there. But I love that first half with Sushant and Kriti at the peak of their young and sexy powers and it was filmed so well (interesting locations…wasn’t this one in Hungary or something) and I liked all of the production design and it really enhanced how pretty they looked in the film as well. And the music is superb and probably one of my favorite Deepika special appearances. It is on my list to rewatch and consider for the list and weird reincarted ex (if I recall that is what Jim is) is a legitimate conflict in a rom-com I guess!

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  2. Excited to look up the few here I haven’t seen!

    I want to add Bhangra Pa Lee to the list, except I think I’m one of only two readers who have seen it, and the other reader didn’t like it. But that reader also didn’t like Main Hoon Na, so as awesome as they are, they really can’t be trusted.

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  3. Non hindi rom-coms worth watching:

    1. Oh My Kadavule (tamil) I love this film so much. It’s funny, romantic and has Ashok Selvan. About a guy who marries his best friend, but later regrets it because he is not in love with her. What will happen when he is given a chance to change the things?
    2. Chi La Sow (telugu) . One of the best heroines.
    3. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna (telugu) Modern woman and super cute simple guy romance (imo the best kind of romance)
    4. Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum (tamil). Vijay Sethupathi plays a thug with the heart of gold (+he gets a makeover)
    5. Girlfriend (marathi) A lonely nerd, tired of being asked about having a girlfriend, creates a fake fb profile to pretend he has one. But one day the girl from the photos finds out and comes to meet him.
    6. Tholi Prema (telugu)
    7. Surkhi Bindi (punjabi) A girl is forced to marry a stranger. She hates the guy initially but then discovers he is the cutest and most supporting husband ever and of course she falls in love.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Save those titles and watch some if you want something cute and nice. I would recommend Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum and Chi La Sow to you. Both with strong, intelligent heroines, I’m sure you will like.

        Confession time: I have never seen Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Jaane Tu.. and Hulchul 😯

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  4. I feel like Bollywood put out so many timepass enjoyable but forgettable rom coms in the 21st century. Before streaming took over, I watched so many of them on YouTube or Einthusan or via rentals from Blockbuster or the Indian video store. Enjoyed while watching, yet can’t recall most today. Movies from “failure to launch” heroes like Fardeen , Zayed, Imran. Movie from “percentage game” heroes like Saif, Shahid, maybe Akshay, and heroines like % game heroines like Kareena, Rani, early Deepika. (Percentage game = if i make a large quantity of films, some are bound to be hits).

    If you dig into the ’90s, aren’t there a bunch of rom coms from Karishma, from Juhi, and from David Dhawan? I feel like Juhi is the perfect rom com heroine.

    If you liked Namastey London, then you might like Ramji Londonwalley, as another international fish out of water rom com. Think Madhavan in Katrina’s role, but he is the Tam-Bram local boy thrust into London.

    I think 2000s gave us some enjoyable ensemble rom coms where there might be more than 1 rom com storyline in the movie. Life in a …Metro, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Salaam et Ishq.

    In the indie space I recall liking Mumbai Matinee with Rahul Bose in a “40YO Virgin” type of hero where a faux sex tape accidentally makes him famous. Would have to watch it again today to see if it holds up to modern scrutiny.

    Would the “___ ke Side Effects” movies qualify as rom coms?

    Netflix’s new movie Wedding Season is a perfect little time-pass rom com. It has all the plot points and beats of a classic rom com, and with nothing extra. I feel like most Netflix rom coms are either YA or R-rated. But this one is your classic PG-rated rom com set among working adults (not high school). In fact, it’s so much a traditional rom com that it actually feels dated – which to my mind is a good thing! It’s set in America among the Indian- American community, with the parents being Indian immigrants. But It has enough Indian social and cultural and familial references for a Indian film lover to enjoy. And it’s got Pallavi Sharda from Besharam and Hawaiizaade – 2 high profile bollywood flops – and Suraj Sharma from Phillauri and Life of Pi. Side note: As an Indian American myself, I found it refreshing to finally hear Indian actors doing American accents successfully, or even at all lol. But turns out Pallavi is from Australia, so an American accent wouldn’t be as much of a hurdle for her.

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    • I am hearing so many good things about Wedding Season! we should maybe do it for the next watchalong. And I am definitely suggesting it for my next Friends Watch!

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    • I did watch Wedding Season and it was pleasant. Both leads were solid and there were real moments of great writing in the screenplay, just the direction sometimes seemed way to pedestrian. I noticed that a desi woman produced it but I couldn’t find much about the (maybe) white guy who directed it? Was kind of wondering why they didn’t find a woman from a desi background to direct it as well. It was definitely a step up from the regular Hallmark films and most of Netflix content. Even my mom watched it randomly.

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  5. Yes. Wedding Season was a really nice watch. And I started loving Pallavi Sharda after this. Realised, that I had really liked her since Besharam itself! If you watch Besharam’s songs, damn you can see she has that talent and superb energy. (a lil too much energy sometimes….but worked). But in Wedding Season, she really did shine. And yes, the fact that it can be seen with family makes me give this movie even more points. It’s hard to find good family films, with good storyline and feel-good content these days!

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