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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mt Holyoke chapter.

Bollywood movies through the years have tended to revolve around love stories and emotional family dramas (accompanied by action scenes that require substantial suspension of disbelief)— however, with the passing of years, Bollywood has managed to take a more realistic approach to filmmaking and produce, in my opinion, some pretty high-quality rom-coms. I would like to impart some of these movie recommendations onto the non-desi world, despite the fact that these same movies created unrealistic expectations that have made love in the real world endlessly disappointing for me.


  1. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

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Dil Chahta Hai has long become a cult-classic among India cinema-goers, and although it can be argued that it would be more aptly categorized as a coming-of-age film, there is enough romance and humour in it for it to fall under the category of rom-coms as well. The film’s three main characters are college-age boys who each have unique experiences with love and also  have different approaches to it: Sameer is a desperate romantic (the type that claims to be in love after every first date), Sid is a mature artist (and falls in love with an older woman— a pretty progressive relationship to be displayed in Indian cinema at the time of the movie’s release), and Akash is a guy who is disillusioned by the concept of love until, of course, he falls into it. The film takes its time to delve into the personalities and lives of all three of its main characters, and manages to make the relationships they have with each other and themselves both relatable and desirable to the audience of the film.


  1. Jab We Met (2007)


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Jab We Met, in my opinion, is one of the best Bollywood rom-coms to date. The main female character, Geet (played by Kareena Kapoor), is perhaps one of the most lovable “crazy” characters I have ever come across, a testament to the fact that sometimes it’s nice to be a bit childish and open about being completely in love with yourself. The love story is one in which opposites attract, and although it invokes the trope of the girl “fixing” the guy (although the guy fixes her in return when she needs it), the entire movie is an adventurous and exciting ride — and the quirky dialogues and conversation in the film are sure to make the entire movie feel new and refreshing.


  1. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008)



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This is the one in which everyone knows the two main characters are in love, except the characters themselves. The narrative is told through the perspective of the friends of these two main characters (namely Aditi and Jai) and is mixed with a healthy dose of magical realism that makes the film all the more entertaining. Both characters are best friends with completely distinct characteristics and no apparent interest in one another, until— of course, they see the other with someone else.


  1. Wake Up Sid (2009)



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I love coming-of-age films, and I tend to love them even more when they’re set in one of my favorite cities in the world: Mumbai (of course, since I live there there can be no bias involved in this statement). This movie is centred around the son of a wealthy businessman who has absolutely no career prospects of his own, and would be more than satisfied to leach of his father’s wealth for as long as possible— and, as the title suggests, is in need of a severe wake up call. This wake up call is attained through the help of a second character and love interest in his life who, unlike him, is highly ambitious and has attained everything she has without the help of rich parents or good circumstances.


  1. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)


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In this movie, three completely different individuals who used to be best friends in high school reunite for a bachelor trip to Spain as one of them prepares to get married. For this trip, they each have to choose one adventurous activity that the rest of the three have to take part in and, in turn, all three of them end up encountering their innermost fears and dissatisfaction with life. During this trip, some of these friends fall in (and some out) of love. Again, not completely a romantic comedy, but definitely plenty of romance and enough comedy to keep a rom-com addict going.  


  1. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)


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This is the one movie I have watched as many times (or perhaps more times) than I have watched The Titanic. While there is some travel involved (I do tend to have an affinity for movies that involve a bit of virtual sight-seeing), this time most of the travel takes place within India itself. The first reason to watch the movie is the lead pair: Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor. Not only are they the greatest ship of my life, but both are delightfully talented actors— with the former being unintelligibly gorgeous with her big expressive eyes, dimpled smile, and long, long legs. The story goes as follows: Naina Talwar is an introvert who decides, on whim, that she is tired of her “goody-two-shoes” existence, and decides to embark on a camping trip to Manali. There, she meets and befriends three people who used to go to high school with her (although they had never talked in high school, and came from fairly distinct social groups). She falls in love with one of these boys (Bunny), which she never discloses to him when she realizes  that his dreams and ambitions are completely different from hers. Ten years later, all four friends meet again for Aditi’s wedding, and once all four friends are reunited…love blooms again.


  1. Hasee Toh Phasee (2014)

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I love a movie where the female character is more interesting and fleshed out than the male character, and there is no question about it in this one. Meeta (portrayed by Parineeti Chopra) is an extremely intelligent scientist (perpetually hopped on drugs) who had previously run away from home, only to return again (to a highly pissed off family) in order to attend her sister’s (Karishma) wedding— while Nikhil (played by Sidharth Malhotra) is the groom-to-be. Interestingly, Meeta and Nikhil had met before he had ever met her sister and had great chemistry before she disappeared— and Nikhil ended up meeting Karishma.


Hope you find the time to enjoy one or more of these movies! 


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Mount Holyoke College is a gender-inclusive, historically women's college in South Hadley, MA.