What is strange about Bollywood's current obsession with mocking what it calls "conventional cinema" is that the joke is getting to be an overkill more than the real thing was. I Hate Luv Storys draws its entire substance from trying to set up a formula-vs-novel battle. While it is fun for a while, it is a little ironic that it exaggerates the very act of poking fun.
Jai (Imran Khan) is an assistant director to Bollywood's money-making machine Veer Kapoor (Sameer Soni), a character that is all-too-obviously based on someone we all know. Jai hates his job because he hates everything mushy, and Veer Kapoor makes only mushy movies; the kinds with chiffon sarees, red balloons, pink pillows, chocolates, teddy bears - the way the film sets this up is so tiresome you're wondering if Bollywood has ever had anyone other the Chopras and the Johars making money for it.
Then, there is Simran (Sonam Kapoor), an art director, who has what the film calls a picture-perfect romance. That, of course, means that her boyfriend is boring to the extent that he is named Raj, he (gasp) gifts her a flower everyday, and that they both wear clothes of the same colour every single day.
Anyway, Jai and Simran are thrown together to work in Veer's latest flick. They don't hit it off well initially, and for no apparent reason, Jai keeps ribbing Simran about how uncool her boyfriend is. When they eventually warm up to each other, discontent plays havoc with her feelings and she decides she's having more fun with Jai than with Raj. She confesses to Jai she's in love with him, but discovers that he's never "looked at her that way". How they get together forms the rest of the story.
The film suffers from predictability, and from the fact that the romance between Jai and Simran is always one-sided. Much of the romance reminds you of the Akash-Shalini chapter of Dil Chahta Hai, but its problem here is that it's not as crisp, and that for some, it could be depressing to watch the pair struggle so much just to get together.
The self-important spoofing of the Karan Johar stable, is dragged out as well, but the good news is that this facet of the flick allows you to have some fun at the least.
Both Kapoor and Khan are gorgeous to watch - an eyeful each, really - and are among the films' strengths. The lead pair is likely to attract you more than anything else in the movie will. While Sonam seems more spontaneous with her acting than the slightly contrived coolth that Imran Khan lets out, the pair still is a decent casting choice. The rest of the performances are good, too, like most Bollywood films.
As for the visuals, they're expectedly slick, but the obsession with all the movies makes it a uni-themed approach to the story. Vishal Shekhar's tunes are pretty good, and might make this a breezy watch for some.
Well, you could watch it if you're smitten by Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor, but we're confident they have better work coming up.