Karan Johar's directorial debut, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, has often been credited for catching the fancy of an entire generation – the teenagers in the 1990s. The Riverdale-esque college campus, an abundance of 'cool' clothes (remember the GAP sweatshirts and Nike sportswear?) and iconic dialogues like Pyaar dosti hai contributed towards its cult-like status.
Inspired by Archie Comics, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerji play three college friends caught in a love triangle. Thanks to its urban setting, the aspirational wardrobes of the lead actors and a popular soundtrack (by music directors Jatin-Lalit), the film still finds mention on many 'Must Watch Bollywood Love Stories' lists.
There has, however, a shift in the way the writer and filmmaker himself looks back at his debut venture. At the Times Litfest in 2016, Karan Johar was asked about Kajol's transformation from tomboy to femme fatale in the second half when he admitted it was stupid and apologised. He also spoke about the film, at the Jagran Film Festival in 2016, saying, "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had an organic innocence. I was 24 when I wrote that film. But I can't write the same film now. When I see films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, I wonder, why I wrote this, how did I write this and from where did these thoughts came to my mind?"