Yudi loves girls but hates commitment - what happens when he meets commitment-averse Aanchal?
Happy Ending stylishly remixes Saif Ali Khan's trademark avatar as a brat who won't grow up. Saif plays Yudi, author in LA, high on sex and success. Yudi avoids new work and commitment - which his ex (Preity Zinta in cameo, channeling the pair's Salaam Namaste chemistry) underlines. His married buddy Montu (Ranvir Shorey) is Yudi's party partner while his inner voice is a chubby Yogi (Saif) warning him not to ring his 'axe'. Suddenly, Yudi's money runs out. His publishers switch to hot-shot novelist Aanchal (Ileana) who brushes off Yudi's charms. Pushy Bollywood superstar Armaan (Govinda) demands Yudi write a DVD-inspired rom-com while dentist Vishakha (Kalki) pursues him obsessively. How does Yudi complete this tale?
Happy Ending has happy ingredients like sparkling dialogues, certain lines - "Tumhari reading pe kuch log so gaye - kuch mar bhi gaye the" - laugh-out-loud hilarious. Key performances stand out. Saif stylishly pulls off his charmer plus bummer inner voice, fat, hairy, spouting philosophy. Laughing at himself, Saif's terrific when he mumbles at Aanchal, "Mageoudwivme?"
The other scene-stealer is Govinda as Armaan-ji, a sharply written character, seeking tailor-made abs plus a story with "comedy, chumma-chaati and kick-aas". Ranvir Shorey displays deadpan ease while Kalki's uninhibited as sweetly suffocating Vishakha. Ileana's breezy as Aanchal who isn't seeking love - but loves the occasional romp.
However, the film is about 30 minutes too long. A rom-com should stay feather-light but multiple cars and stars stretch this one. The editing sometimes flags, making the plot feel like a string of sit-com situations, while the lead pair's chemistry eventually wanes, the ending a tad tame.
But mostly, Happy Ending's a fun film with a melodious, modern take on individuals and pyaar. It's an NRI movie that side-steps dilemmas and pain. And it's probably the first Hindi film where the heroine cheekily tells the hero, "Show your boobs!", performed with polished elan. Wrapping Hollywood ribbons on a Bollywood heart, this is a nice ending - and a good start.