Cheesiest Love Stories To Watch On Valentine’s Day

From Mohabbatein to Mamma Mia, the FC staff picks their favourite films that may be mushy, but rarely cease to entertain
Cheesiest Love Stories To Watch On Valentine’s Day

Who doesn't like the thought of a mushy, gooey movie that you can immerse yourself in while sitting comfortably on your couch? Cheese does not always equal cringe. In fact, it could very well be comforting, especially on a day exclusively meant to celebrate the lovey-doveyness of romantic clichés. FC staff members curate their favourite mushy films, meant to give you that extra cheesy feeling this Valentine's Day:

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)

Streaming On: Netflix

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani has all the staples of the Bollywood Romance™  — beautiful people, beautiful places, beautiful pathos. While it is entirely centered around the wanderlusting, ants-in-the-pants Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor), with Naina (Deepika Padukone) playing an effective catalyst figure (some even have wondered if, in the second half, Naina is a ghost given how she seems only visible to and in service of Bunny), the film has a nice rounded quality, with lovers reuniting towards the end, a lovely kiss, a new year ahead, two close friends on the phone, and the lover couched in the arms. Love certainly looks — and sounds — lovely.  – Prathyush Parasuraman

Vivah (2006)

Streaming On: Netflix

For all the jokes that are made at this blockbuster's expense, it's also a film that can be very comforting, un-ironically. As people who've grown up in more sophisticated backgrounds with timely reality checks, it's a tad painful to think we never were and can never be as innocent as the characters in this movie. It might sound archaic to hear a woman living in the 2000s offer 'jal' instead of water or paani, but I guess those are the kind of things that make this world so easy to get lost in. So, when Poonam and Prem's families decide to spread out their mattresses to sleep next to each other in their holiday home, I was shocked that my dirty mind wasn't thinking up jokes about this weird arrangement. Of course, a lot of it feels dated and absurd now, but is it a crime to like this film? Don't care. Mujhe Haq Hai. – Vishal Menon

Set It Up (2018)

Streaming on: Netflix

The premise of Set It Up is as cheesy as it gets – two harried assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) plot to get their bosses together in the hopes that their newfound romance will translate to less stress at the workplace. If you read this and thought, "The assistants end up falling in love with each other too by the end, don't they?" you'd be right. It is a rom-com after all. But even though this film plays out exactly as you'd expect, it's so ridiculously charming and full of heart that it becomes impossible to fault the clichés when they're done this well, by characters that have such undeniably sparkling chemistry. I'm just a viewer, standing in front of a streaming platform, asking them to make more romcoms like this. – Gayle Sequeira

Mohabbatein (2000)

Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video

I've spent two decades being indebted to Aditya Chopra's Mohabbatein for teaching me the vocabulary of "Bollywood Hindi" – which I then proceeded to use in my board exams as part of a "bel ki aatmakatha" (the autobiography of a bull) essay. Never mind the sweaters that I draped around my decidedly un-SRK shoulders or the rimless glasses my parents spent a fortune on. When I watched Mohabbatein recently for the 26th time last week – my first time since 2006 – gone were my rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia and Gujarati boyhood. All I could see was Raj Aryan, the pied-piper of Guru-cool love, as the beta-male version of Sara Ali Khan in Atrangi Re: an unstable person romancing a ghost. And Narayan Shankar, a man so repulsed by romantic love that, instead of coming out of the closet, he designs an institution with a PPA motto: Parampara, Pratishtha and Anushasan. My mind was cringing but my mouth was automatically reciting all the dialogues, word by lofty word. – Rahul Desai

Mamma Mia! (2008)

Streaming On: Netflix

This film has it all – gorgeous locations, estranged lovers, Meryl Streep and ABBA songs. Amanda Seyfried plays an idealistic young woman who wants her father to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, putting her mother, Donna (Meryl Streep), in the nightmarish pickle of facing three ex-lovers at once. Donna, ever the typical romantic protagonist, laments her past and yearns for lost love, singing and dancing around the Greek island. Despite the dramatic plot, Mamma Mia is a breezy musical. The film never takes itself too seriously, and the result is a hilarious romcom with clichés and misunderstandings, anchored by a beautiful mother-daughter relationship. – Shradhdha Das

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014)

Streaming On: Netflix

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is quite smart in the way it updates the DDLJ template and does new things with it – the groom is actually a nice guy, and the girl's horrible father has a backstory. It's cheese lite compared to the 90s melodramas it riffs on. But that's as much cheese I can take in my old age. – Sankhayan Ghosh

Mujhse Dosti Karoge! (2002)

Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video

Gobhi parathas had never seemed so delicious. In fact, it was Rohan's (Hrithik Roshan) love for them that made me try one for the first time – and unsurprisingly enough, I loved it too. The Kunal Kohli film is your stereotypical Archie-Betty-Veronica triangle. While the film includes many problematic elements, it still works if all you want is to be amused. The entire cast, including Rani Mukerji's Pooja and Kareena Kapoor's Tina, even indulge in a lengthy Bollywood medley that gets too meta (Hrithik dances to Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, Rani on Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) and yet, is so much fun and so nostalgic that it's perhaps the best 10 minutes of the film. Bonus points to the dramatic sindoor scene in the climax that'll give the now-Insta-popular soap opera scenes a run for their money. – Debdatta Sengupta

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