Jay Dhingra (Imran Khan) is an aaj ka chokra. He turns up his nose at anything that remotely resembles soppy sentimentality, even though he works as an assistant to a film maker (Samir Soni) who peddles the most improbable mush on screen.
Enter, the new art director, Simran Sharma (Sonam Kapoor) who eats, sleeps and is drunk heady on ishq-vishq and all that goes with it. A diehard romantic, she even has a perfect boyfriend called Raj (Samir Dattani) who gifts her a white chrysanthemum, each time he meets her. But will the pristine white flowers score over Jay's crazy red roses, and crazier ways? Keep guessing....
First things first. Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor make an interesting pair. After the Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif coupling, this seems to be the most refreshing jodi that's jaunting and jiving on screen. Nice chemistry. Nice tu-tu-main-main (sparring). Nice physical compatibility. And a well-balanced emotional quotient. Kudos to the two of them to carry forth a film which once again doesn't really have anything to boast about in the 'storys' department.
Thematically, I Hate Luv Storys, is extremely simplistic, uni-layered and terribly predictable. Imran and Sonam do begin on the we-hate-each-other note, with Imran squirming at any and everything that's filmy while Sonam swears by it all: pink teddys, bunches of blooms, candle-light dinners, Karan Johar films, cuddly Cupid's bows, shooting stars, soppy dialogues and all that made-for-each-other mush. But we all know the way the wind blows, from the word go. Mush shall rule, and how! For all the digs that producer Karan Johar allows on himself (filmmaker Samir Soni is actually a spoof on KJo), we know the film's going to end up reiterating KJo -- and all he translates into onscreen -- as king.
So, Jay Dhingra, who likes girls, but hates girly stuff, is gonna end up crying like a girl very soon. Of course, first he must ridicule Simran for all her `stoopid' misconceptions about lurrrv, including her boyfriend Raj who besides being a frumpish bore, wears `fugly' shirts too. But it doesn't take long for the tables to be turned, twice over. On the one hand, Simran discovers her penchant for Mr Wrong (quirky, irreverent Imran), rather than Mr Right (politically correct Samir). And on the other hand, sceptic Imran succumbs to the love bug, red roses, rain-drenched songs, airport encounters, et all. Only, their turn-overs are mistimed. So that, when Simran says `haan', jokey Jay says `nah!' and when Jay wanna say `yes, yes, yes!', it's a punctilious let's-be-just-friends from the sobered Simran.
Kya khali-peeli confusion, all this babalog blah. But hey, blah can be timepass too. Specially when it has loads of icing on it. Debutant director Punit Malhotra layers his first film with oodles of sugar coating: great locales, mast music (Vishal-Shekhar), a yummy 'n yuppy lead pair, some laugh-out-loud moments and a lot of laugh-on-ourself sequences that ridicule the romcoms that roll out of the Bollywood factory (there are jibes on almost all of Karan Johar films), only to finally reiterate them as pills the public wants. On the performance front, watch out for Imran's endless emoticons (eyebrow lifts, smirks, smileys) and his pronounced pout. And for Sonam's svelte form and pleasant screen presence.
Candy floss floats. Popcorn rules. Go, chew on it.
A word about:
Performances: Cool. Nothing to boast about, but quite watchable, both Sonam and Imran. Together, they share a lively chemistry that keeps the fun rolling. Samir Soni's spoof on Karan Johar-Sanjay Leela Bhansali is cute. Samir Dattani is suitably stiff. He's supposed to be a bore, no.
Story: Punit Malhotra's story is ekdum simple and predictable. But then, when was romance supposed to be rocket science!
Dialogues: Very ordinary. Sometimes corny.
Cinematography: Ayananka Bose creates a visually pretty film.
Music: Vishal-Shekhar create a peppy score that goes well with the pop tenor of the film. Watch out for the title track, Bin Tere and Bahara.
Styling: Manish Malhotra's costumes are the high point: uber cool and urban chic. Lot's of `fugly' shirts juxtaposed against fundoo Tees, with crazy graffiti.
Inspiration: All of Karan Johar films!