Confession time! I’ve hated Bollywood love stories. The panoramic shots of a swashbuckling, mandolin wielding hero and a sari clad heroine dancing in slow motion against the backdrop of heavenly Swiss Alps inspired more slumber in me than a valium does. And - forgive me - those Karvachauth sequences when the heroine looks at the moon through the sieve and the dapperly hero steps in the frame just in the nick of time to consolidate her faith that theirs is janam janam ka saath have unfailingly resulted in me digging my head deep in popcorn buckets. Well, that was then. Now, I’m nearly a convert - thanks to Punit Malhotra’s debut film I Hate Luv Storys, which is - pardon the cliché - a hatke romantic saga.
Malhotra sifts mush out of romance and instead of giving us a fairytale love story of epic proportions, expansive sweep and overblown emotions, he simply gives us an every-day date flick which you can relate to and definitely enjoy with or without your girlfriend or boyfriend. Going further, Malhotra even cocks a snook at the syrupy love stories that Bollywood’s mush factory keeps churning out with clockwork consistency, not sparing in the process even the likes of Karan Johar (the film’s producer) and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Jay (Imran Khan) hates love stories. The cool dude’s attraction towards fairer sex doesn’t go beyond flirtatious friendships or one night stands. Love, for him, doesn’t exist. So we can understand his plight when he has to work under Veer (Samir Soni), the flamboyant filmmaker known for making melodramatic romantic movies, the kind I spoke of earlier. To make matters worse, Jay is made an assistant to production designer Simran (Sonam Kapoor) who loves filmi love stories and even has a fiancé named Raj (Sammir Dattani).
Simran thinks her love story with Raj is just perfect; but Jay, the cynic that he is, thinks otherwise and keeps reminding her of Raj’s ‘fugly’ shirts and sugar-sweet overtures of love that are found only in films, not in real. The constant banter between Jay and Simran gives way to friendship, and before she knows it, Simran is in love with him. But the cool dude is blissfully unaware of her feelings. Will this love-atheist ever believe in the power of cupid’s arrow? Will Jay discover love?