I Hate Luv Storys: A Review

I Hate Luv Storys – Dir: Punit Malhotra; *ing: Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Sameer Dattani

I hate deliberately misspelled movie titles that are trying to be hip and ‘different’. So one of these days I’m going to make a movie. It’ll be about how one of the characters hates deliberately misspelled movie titles that are trying to be hip and ‘different’, and so he ends up making a movie. With a deliberately misspelled title. Because that’s, you know, hip. And ‘different’. And my movie will be called ‘I H8 Mizpelled Moovy Tytles’. Because that’s hip and ‘different’ too. See how I’m trying to demonstrate a bit of the old irony there? Another way to put it would be if this movie, instead of being called I Hate Luv Storys, was called I Hate Lame Stories – the irony being that that’s exactly what it turns out to be! Ah, you’ve got to love irony.

For this Karan Johar-produced confection that has the weight and depth of an especially frail poof of cotton-candy, the makers dig deep into that Yash-Johar bag of tricks. Well, okay, referring to it as a bag may be overstating it a tad, let’s call it a miniature imitation-LV clutch that would have a hard time accommodating a stick of chewing gum. If you’ve ever watched any K-Jo film – don’t even bother denying it – (or caught that creepy ‘friend’ of yours giving you the glad eye) you already know the formula: a man and a woman are never merely ‘friends’ (thereby flushing a major post-feminist discourse down the toilet), and opposites attract (thereby validating Paula Abdul’s 1989 declaration of the same). And so we have J (Khan), confirmed lothario and non-believer in all things cardio-shaped, who pooh-poohs formulaic Bollywood love stories (irony alert!) even as he serves as assistant to a filmmaker who churns them out like mutton pulao on Bakra Eid. As the yin to his yang we have Simran (Kapoor), worshipper at the altar of all that is fluffy and pink, who is living the ‘perfect’ romance with her Mr. Right, Raj (Dattani) – Simran & Raj, get it? You’re somewhat slow if you don’t, but downright ripe for the loony bin if you can’t guess what comes next. No? Well, here’s your ‘proud-owner-of-single-brain-cell’ certificate while I explain: fate brings the opposites together, as fate is wont to do, they clash, they ‘unexpectedly’ bond over whispered philosophies culled from fortune cookies, they ‘misunderestimate’ each other’s feelings, and six songs and a dazzling array of slogan-ed t-shirts later, they finally… Nah, I don’t want to spoil the suspense, ruin the rosy, poop the party – you’ll have to subject yourself to it if you’re actually that slow on the uptake.

For that is what it would be – subjecting yourself. Though I’m not one for overstatement (kindly ignore all glaring evidence to the contrary), there really is very little to recommend I Hate Luv Storys. As a love story, it’s wishy washy; as romantic satire, well, it’s a lump of coal posing as a baby diamond. Apart from a few funny lines here and there, it’s really a low-rent version of, ironically enough (there’s my favourite element again!) Imran Khan’s far superior debut film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Still, there is the saving grace that the film isn’t exactly trying to be Dr. Zhivago so you can enjoy it at the mindless level where it functions. And Khan is charismatic and charming. And Kapoor is pretty, if a little blah. And the songs are nice.

And there are all those t-shirts…

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