Love is in the air

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and the people at asked their readers to pick the most romantic Hollyhood and Bollywood films of all times. Here are their choices:

Bollywood’s top love stories

Kabhi Kabhie

An epic romance spanning two generations, where two lovers are forced to marry against their will, but memories of their romance linger on. Years later, circumstances force them to confront their spouses, their children and each other.

The kind of story only Yash Chopra could do justice to, with an all-star cast — Amitabh, Waheeda Rehman, Rakhee, Shashi and Rishi Kapoor, and Neetu Singh.


Remembered as much for its frank and bold treatment of extramarital relationships, this Yash Chopra film made waves for its cast: Amitabh and Jaya play a married couple, but Bachchan finds himself in love with a married flame, Rekha. For the most part (subtracting the tulips and elongated song/dream sequences), this is a realistic, complex film about relationships, deftly handled by the director. The music, by Classical maestros Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia, is unforgettable.

Maine Pyar Kiya

We dare you, go out there and find a woman over 20 who was not in love with Salman Khan in this Sooraj Barjatya superhit. While Bhagyashree and her then-iconic pigeon find themselves in obscurity today, the film gave us a superstar and created a whole new set of cliches for Hindi cinema to fall back upon. A rather likeable film we have all watched, sometimes inspite of ourselves.

Ek Duuje Ke Liye

This K Balachander creation was refreshingly real, a Hindi film that defied convention and cliche to give us a truly relatable love story. Kamal Haasan and Rati Agnihotri play a very memorable pair of lovers in a pleasant film that ends up saying more than you expect. Quite a clever piece of work.

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

More than 10 years on, DDLJ remains the quintessential film of the nineties: a love story with smartly-written dialogue, and issues relatable to the modern day. Shah Rukh Khan’s Raj redefined the romantic loverboy for this generation, and only an actress like Kajol could give Simran the passion she needed. The film was an original creation, born out of a simple, strong, script, and extremely entertaining — no matter how many times you’ve seen it all. A great supporting cast, with a top-notch soundtrack, made sure Aditya Chopra’s directorial debut was immortal. And very quotable.

Hollywood’s evergreen romances

An Affair To Remember

Starring Cary Grant and Deborah Karr, this 1957 classic directed by Leo McCarey features a couple meeting and falling in love. They decide to meet again in six months, at New York’s Empire State Building. But is that destined to be? The film was referenced so often in the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan film with the same premise, Sleepless In Seattle, that it led to $2 million extra sales of the original video.

Terry McKay: Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories... And we’ve already missed the spring!

Roman Holiday

William Wyler’s immortal romantic film is best remembered for giving birth to a star. Audrey Hepburn came to the limelight and scooped up a much-deserved Oscar for her performance. The 1953 film is about Hepburn’s runaway princess meeting Gregory Peck’s shrewd reporter, and gallivanting around the glorious city of Rome. Love is, quite obviously, in the air.

Princess Ann: At midnight, I’ll turn into a pumpkin and drive away in my glass slipper.

Joe Bradley: And that will be the end of the fairytale.

Pretty Woman

This Garry Marshall superhit marked the breakthrough of Hollywood’s most iconic modern day leading lady, a certain Julia Roberts. She played a streetwalker with unbelievable panache, breaking all the rules and falling in love with a client, the staid and hard-to-ruffle Richard Gere.

A popcorn romp in a class of its own.

[After settling on $3,000]

Vivian: I would have stayed for two thousand.

Edward: I would have paid four.


The epic of epics. It’s World War II. Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) owns a nightclub in Casablanca. His lost love, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is around, on the run. With her is her husband, a résistance leader with Germans on his trail. The only man who can help him is Rick, who can get them out of the country. But will he?

Ilsa: I wasn’t sure you were the same. Let’s see, the last time we met...

Rick: I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.


Way bigger than your average blockbuster, James Cameron’s Titanic remains the most massive success of all time. The tale is simple. Leonardo DiCaprio, a cocky urchin, meets the wealthy Kate Winslet aboard the ‘unsinkable’ ship. Love ensues amid distressed families and panic signals. It all ends with tragic wetness.

Rose: I believe you are blushing, Mr Big Artiste. I can’t imagine Monsieur Monet blushing.

Jack: He does landscapes.