In the very first scene, clippings from DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE, DIL CHAHTA HAI and HUM TUM are shown. No prizes for guessing that the film is pretty much a collage of copious famous love stories of the 90s, which were appealing at that time but don't have much worth now.
Jay (Imran Khan), who prefers to call himself 'J' because it's 'cool', is a complete Casanova. He loves to flirt with girls and is always thinking about ways to woo them. But love is a strict no no for him, and love stories...! What makes matters worse for him is the fact that he's working as an assistant director under Veer (Samir Soni), who is supposed to be the most romantic filmmaker in the Industry. He just has to grin and bear it.
If that's not enough, he is made to work with the new production designer on the film, Simran (Sonam Kapoor), who is a die-hard romantic film buff. The principle of opposites attract comes into play and a bond grows between the two. But Simran is already engaged to Raj (Sameer Dattani), who gives her one white flower everyday (DIL CHAHTA HAI, anyone?).
The most novel part of I HATE LUV STORYS is its interesting title and cast. But that's just about it.
It attempts to be differently similar to the various cliched romantic films, but it is pretty much like one, to the point where it actually makes fun of itself. In the beginning, you like the mockery, but it gets banal as the film progresses. In one of the scenes, Kavin Dave who plays J's senior and his best friend, shows a chart which has a list of the ingredients of love stories like fight, sing, airport etc and the film covers almost all of them!
Imran Khan impresses in his hate for love stories but fails when he falls in love. You fall in love with the notorious and quirky demeanour in the initial reels. He just about holds the first half together, which is briskly paced but doesn't take the story forward.
However, his quant nature drastically changes when he realises that he's in love. The narrative takes a complete romantic detour from thereon and starts cracking.
The second half completely drags. A few humourous scenes scattered in the second half provide much respite in the film which has a wafer-thin script. The climax, though predictable, is still likeable.
Costumes by Manish Malhotra are chic. He makes Sonam Kapoor look ravishing in those exotic sarees. The picturisation of the songs are a big let down and doesn't do justice at all to Vishal-Shekhar's eclectic music. In fact, the songs at times appear to be forced in the narrative. Ayanka Bose's cinematography is passable. The film has a few vivid locations but it is not something which we haven't seen in the past. The dialogues by Punit Malhotra are very urban.
Sonam Kapoor is playing a character which suits her persona, and she does fulfill the director's requirements. Having said that, she looks pretty uncomfortable in her serious scenes. Imran Khan whose character is pretty similar to the one he played in JAANE TU... YA JAANE NA, is very comfortable initially but tends to overact later, especially in the emotional scenes. The chemistry between Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor lacks spark. Samir Soni is very impressive. Sameer Dattani is completely wasted. Bruna Abdullah looks stupid but probably that is what was expected of the character. Kavin Dave gets to say some of funniest dialogues and is decent.
I HATE LUV STORYS wouldn't make you fall in love with it.