I didn’t realize that this movie came out five whole years ago, and I’m a little shocked about it. Why? Because the romantic pairing a) gets drunk, b) makes out, and c) has sex, all onscreen, and no one gets pregnant or a hideous disease or is ostracized or anything. (For perspective, in 2004’s Phir Milenge, the heroine has sex–and gets HIV. In 2005’s Salaam Namaste, the whole marketing campaign was about how crazy it was that Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta kissed onscreen, and then their characters move in together and of course she gets pregnant and there is angst. 2007’s Jab We Met ends, surprisingly, with an actual make-out. In 2010, Chance Pe Dance has a romantic relationship progress to the stage where “I love you” is said, but the dude still has to sleep in his car because it is unimaginable that he might, say, sleep on the girl’s couch or something. Bollywood movies of the last couple of years are relaxing on the make-outs, but instant nudity is still legitimately shocking. Also this might be literally the first time I’ve seen a respectable woman get drunk in a Bollywood movie, and, as you can see, my sample size is pretty large.)

So, besides that what is there? Well, Bittoo (Ranveer Singh) and Shruti (Anushka Sharma) meet-cute when he sort of crashes a wedding she’s planning, for the food. Soon they start a wedding-planning business which is wildly successful until they sleep together and it gets weird. You know, like it does, with people. Along the way you get to see that it is apparently expected of a wedding planner in India that he has in his back pocket a dance and light show worthy of Shah Rukh Khan.

I dunno, this movie is pretty great. Everyone in it mostly acts like a real person, with real person foibles. Bittoo is kind of a jackass for a while, but in a way that young men actually often are, not in an imaginary insane Bollywood way. People change gradually and plausibly, which is also a surprisingly normal thing (for rom-coms generally, not just in Bollywood). The movie only has one plot, and it holds together. The songs aren’t memorable, but they aren’t annoying either. Everyone can dance on the beat. Solidly above average across the board, really, and also it’s nice to see a rom-com in which a girl is good at her job but not consequently an insane person.

Director: Maneesh Sharma
Rating: PG-13 ish?
Length: 139 minutes
Score: 4/5

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