Since the beginning of cinema in India, Indian filmmakers have woven their scripts and plots around the emotion and theme of love and romance. From the legendary ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ to ‘Dil Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge,’ Bollywood Romantic Movies have told countless love stories in all their forms.
However, the definition of ‘Love’ has recently been redefined in Indian cinema. The new millennium films rejected the stereotypical “Do Jism Ek Jaan” and “Jiyenge to Saath.” On the other hand, “Marenge to Saath” definition of love has been shown on the big screen for decades in Indian cinema.
The new love stories provided a new and refreshing perspective on Hindi love stories, making them more relatable to today’s generation and youth.
We’ve compiled a list of the best bollywood romantic movies from the last few decades (from 1990 to the present) that you should watch.
Band Baaja Baarat (2010)
Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor, two new faces in Bollywood, starred in a beautiful love story as two young lads in Delhi trying to make it big in their lives with their wedding planning business.
Band Baaja Baarat is a vibrant and energetic love story that incorporates all of the elements of a Masala film, such as dance numbers, romantic songs, and the quintessential Bollywood melodrama.
Without Sanam Teri Kasam, Laila Majnu, and Tere Naam, the list of bollywood romantic movies is incomplete. Love is incomplete without madness, and these films are the best examples.
This is a story about a deaf-mute boy, Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor), and his relationship with two women, Shruti (Ileana D’Cruz), an educated young girl, and Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra), who suffers from Autism. In contrast to other Bollywood films in which being disabled meant living a life of contempt and distress, Barfi celebrates love, life, and laughter in this love story. Barfi, India’s official entry to the Oscars then, also won seven Filmfare awards, including Best Film.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film starring SRK, Aishwarya Rai, and Madhuri Dixit! Many critics and fans agree that movies like Devdas are only made once in a generation. It was the second time Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Devdas was adapted for the big screen in Bollywood. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali made it a visual treat and one of the best bollywood romantic movies of all time.
Devdas was the most expensive Bollywood film ever made when it was released in 2002, with meticulously crafted sets and classy costumes weighing kilos and starring the biggest names in the industry at the time.
This film follows Devdas (Shah Rukh Khan) and his relationship with his childhood love, Paro (Aishwarya Rai), and then a courtesan, Chandramukhi (Madhuri Dixit). This classic beautifully tells the love story of falling in love and then being destroyed by it.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015)
Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a beautiful love story set in a small town about a man (Ayyushmann Khurana) who is embarrassed by his arranged marriage to his overweight wife. It is a story about how “Love Comes in All Sizes” and how the couple finds love after going through their fair share of ups and downs in their relationship.
Highway is another beautiful and unusual love story written by Imitiaz Ali. A girl (Alia Bhatt) from a wealthy business family is kidnapped. Randeep Hooda, one of the abductors, takes her through various cities and locations in North India to avoid being tracked. Alia Bhatt, suffering from ‘Stockholm Syndrome,’ begins to enjoy her freedom, which she had never experienced with her family, and begins to enjoy the company of Randeep Hooda. The music by A.R Rahman adds to the film’s soulfulness.
Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008)
At the time of its release, this film became an instant hit with college students and young people. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na is a classic sitcom that tells the simple story of a group of friends and a couple (Imran Khan and Genelia D’Souza) who are constantly in denial about their relationship. It is a film that neither dares to be different nor contains ‘masala’ or melodrama, but there is some warmth in this simple story that viewers enjoy.
Jab We Met (2007)
An energetic and lively Geet (Kareena Kapoor) meets a businessman who has almost given up on his life (Aaditya) and decides to travel to Bhatinda and then elope to meet Geet’s boyfriend in the mountains. The entire film is a beautiful roller coaster ride, with the central themes of Jab We Met are accepting yourself, laughing off life’s failures, falling in love with yourself, and finding your heart.
Jab We Met is regarded as one of the best bollywood romantic movies of all time, with memorable scenes and humorous dialogue. It is one of the best bollywood romantic movies by Imtiaz Ali, who rose to prominence as a writer and director capable of capturing the pulse and hearts of the new generation.
Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar depicted the story of Mughal emperor Akbar and his Rajput wife Jodha Bai artistically. Jodha Akbar, a film known for its grand sets, beautifully crafted costumes, and amazing cinematography, revolved around how a reluctant Jodha Bai, who was married to Akbar to seek a political alliance, eventually fell in love with the emperor Akbar.
Kabir Singh (2019)
Despite being heavily criticized by feminists for portraying toxic masculinity, Kabir Singh became one of the year’s biggest hits. The film follows the story of Kabir (Shahid Kapoor), an obsessive lover, his relationship with his college junior, Preeti (Kiara Advani), and his path to self-destruction after falling in love. Kabir Singh, with its powerful performances and good music, is a refreshing change from Bollywood’s stereotypical love stories.
Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Kal Ho Na lives up to its title as a film with the underlying message of living life to the fullest because you never know what will happen tomorrow. It tells the story of Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan), a terminally ill patient who attempts to make Naina (Preity Zinta), an MBA student, and her friend, Rohit Patel (Saif Ali Khan), fall in love before he dies. The film is well-known for its powerful dialogues, gripping plot, and music. Kal Ho Na Ho won two national awards, eight Filmfare, and several other accolades.
A poetic interpretation of O. Henry’s 1907 short story “The Last Leaf.” Lootera is a heartwarming story with cinematic details created in an artistic style. It’s about a conman named Atmanand Tripathi (Ranbir Singh) and Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha), the daughter of a Zamindar who was one of his victims. The beauty of this film lies in its slow pace and cinematic approach to portraying love with a finesse not commonly seen in Bollywood. Lootera is regarded as one of the best bollywood romantic movies of all time and a cinematic gem by fans of classic cinema and genuine art.
Love Aaj Kal (2009)
Love Aaj Kal, a young and romantic story about Veer Singh (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera Pandit (Deepika Padukone), depicts a contemporary love story. This film depicts pure love that endures ups and downs, turmoil, melodrama, and still triumphs. It’s a film full of powerful performances and emotional moments that make any lover’s heart skip.
Masaan is regarded as one of the gems of contemporary Indian cinema by critics and fans of genuine cinema. The film is set in Banaras and follows two parallel stories: one of Devi Pathak (Richa Chadha), whose life is shattered after being caught by police in a hotel getting intimate with her student, and the other of Deepak Kumar (Vicky Kaushal), a lower caste boy who falls in love with Shaalu Gupta (Shweta Tripathi), a high caste girl. The film delves into the delicate feelings and deep sentiments of its two protagonists, attempting to defy societal norms while listening to their hearts.
Parineeta is a romantic musical drama set in Kolkata in the 1960s about a love triangle involving Lalita (Vidya Balan), Girish Sharma (Sanjay Dutt), and Shekhar Roy (Saif Ali Khan). The story is a timeless and engaging romantic tale told beautifully through melodious songs.
Raanjhanaa by Aanand L. Rai is a story of one-sided love set in the colorful city of Banaras that celebrates the typical ‘desi’ small-town love that many of us grew up with. Kundan’s (Dhanush) selfless love for Zoya (Sonam Kapoor), who regards him as intellectually inferior, is intertwined with beautiful songs, humorous dialogue, and a gripping screenplay.
Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein (2001)
Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein, or RHTDM as it is colloquially known, is a film that will make any 90s kid nostalgic. The film tells the story of Madhav or Maddy (R Madhavan) and Reena Malhotra (Dia Mirza), whose parents have already decided on their marriage. Rajeev (Saif Ali Khan), her fiance, has a rivalry with Maddy dating back to their college days.
Rockstar, a film that deviated from mainstream cinema’s style in favor of a more artistic approach, has become a cult classic for many Bollywood fans. Rockstar was a celebration of timeless love with beautiful songs and music, with director Imtiaz Ali emphasizing details and cinematography in an otherwise predictable plot.
While most Bollywood films end with a happy marriage, Saathiya depicts the marital problems and emotional turmoil of a couple after a love marriage. The film, which stars Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukherji, has a simple plot and soulful music composed by A.R Rahman.
Socha Na tha (2005)
Socha Na Tha, the debut film of Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia, was one of the first films of the new millennium to deviate from the stereotypical Bollywood love story. Imtiaz Ali made his film’s directorial debut, and he created several other memorable bollywood romantic movies, including Jab We Met, Tamasha, and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, all of which redefined love for this new generation.
Tamasha, another gem from Imtiaz Ali, is one of the most daring big-screen experiments in recent memory. Tamasha, a story about finding your soul and heart amidst the chaos of everyday life, stands out from other films in the genre. Unlike any other Bollywood film, the love and emotions in this film show a level of maturity and coming of age.
Tamasha is not for everyone – it moves slowly, has no fireworks, and is devoid of melodrama – but it beautifully captures the hearts of several young people trying to fit themselves into corporate jobs and societal rules while their hearts are elsewhere.
Veer Zaara (2004)
Veer Zaara is a timeless love story that transcends borders. It tells the story of Veer Pratap Singh (Shah Rukh Khan), an Indian Air Force pilot, and Zaara Hayaat Khan (a Pakistani). With this beautiful Bollywood love story and timeless songs and music, Shah Rukh proves why he is known as the King of Romance.
Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao’s Vivah, a story of old-school love and family values in the new millennium, was panned by critics but became popular among small-town audiences. Vivah, directed by Sooraj Barjataya, manages to recreate the magic of Rajshri’s super hits from the 1990s.
The Lunchbox (2013)
The Lunchbox is a sweet and simple love story about two people who never meet but communicate through notes placed in lunchboxes delivered by Mumbai’s famous Dabbawalas. The film, which starred ace actors Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur, was well received by critics and audiences alike. Because of its simple yet powerful script, the film won several national and international awards.
Let’s be honest: Gautam, Meera, and Veronica’s love triangle is something we can all relate to. There must have been occasions when someone you love fell in love with someone else. Veronica, who adores Gautam, is heartbroken when she discovers that he feels the same way about Meera. She gets drunk and tells him how much she misses him. However, nothing works. We’ve all probably gone through the same emotional turmoil that Veronica did.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra, and Jim Sarbh star in Photograph, a heartfelt love story and drama. Apart from the love between the two main characters, the film shows much love for Mumbai and the millions of dreams it has for its people.
Rafi is a street photographer who makes a living by photographing tourists. However, his grandmother constantly pressures him to marry even though he is struggling to pay off a family debt. To appease his grandmother, he shows the photograph of an enigmatic stranger Miloni to her as a love interest. The two strangers then pretend to be in love, and while pretending to be in a relationship, they form a genuine bond.
This film was directed by the incredibly talented Shashank Khaitan and was released in 2018. This film’s basic plot revolves around a man named Madhu and a woman named Parthavi. They fall in love and want to marry each other.
However, they come from very different families in terms of social standing. As a result, they face strong opposition from their families and society. However, they do not want to be separated, so they both decide to elope.
This decision causes Parthavi’s father and brother to be on the lookout for the couple as soon as possible. This film attempts to confront some of our society’s most shocking truths and succeeds.
Everything is handled very tastefully, and this film should be on your list of the best bollywood romantic movies to watch soon.
This is the final film on our list of the bollywood romantic movies. In addition, this film was released in 2018. Sharat Katariya, the incredibly talented director, directed this film.
And the basic plot of this film revolves around a couple from a small town. They both decide to make changes in their lives and take positive steps forward. As a result, the couple decides to start their own clothing company.
However, nothing is easy or smooth for them because they must overcome several obstacles to achieve their true goal. Nevertheless, this film is charming and will undoubtedly be a pleasure to watch.
Manmarziyaan is a contemporary love story centered on three characters: Rumi, Vicky, and Robbie. Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, and Abhishek Bachchan play the lead roles in this film. This film depicts the complexities of modern relationships and the grey area between black and white, where morality lies when in love.
Rumi and Vicky are madly in love, but Vicky is immature and does not appear to ask Rumi for her hand in marriage after the family discovers them. Rumi married Robbie, the guy her family picked for her, in rage and scorn. But she is torn and keeps returning to her love, much to the chagrin of her husband, who has fallen in love with her.
The Romance King Shahrukh Khan is always dependable in the romance genre, and his latest film Zero is no exception. In this film, he is joined by Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. Anushka plays a scientist with cerebral palsy, Kaif plays a film star who is depressed after a highly publicized breakup, and SRK plays a dwarf from Meerut.
Bauua Singh meets Aafia for an arranged marriage and the two bonds over their physical handicaps. On the day of their wedding, however, he abandons her to meet superstar Babita Kumari. After a period of self-discovery, he returns to Aafia to make a shocking discovery and prove his love and sincerity.
This film was directed by the incredibly talented Mohit Suri and was released in 2017. This film is based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name.
This film’s basic plot revolves around a man named Madhav Jha and a woman named Riya Somani. Madhav is a Bihar student who enrolls in a Delhi college. In college, he meets Riya Somani and falls in love with her.
He tries to win her over, but she is never interested in anything other than friendship. This film may be a little too relatable for some of us. In any case, you’re going to enjoy this film. This is also one of the best and most recent bollywood romantic movies.
So you should see this film.
Sanam Teri Kasam
If you’re looking for a bollywood romantic movie that will make you cry, you should check out this film. This film was directed by the incredibly talented Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru and was released in 2016.
This film received positive reviews and performed well at the box office. This film’s basic plot revolves around a woman named Saraswati and a man named Inder.
Saraswati’s father throws her out due to a bad combination of circumstances. And when things get tough, she has Inder by her side. This eventually brings them closer together, and they fall in love. But destiny has a nasty surprise in store for them.
This love story does not have a happy ending, but you will be strangely satisfied by how this film ends. You should watch this lovely romantic film if you’re in the mood for a good cry.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
The film is one of the top-rated romantic drama films of 2016, and Karan Johar himself produced it. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Shahrukh Khan, Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt, and Anushka Sharma in lead roles alongside Lisa Haydon and Imran Abbas.
Ayan is a naive music lover, and Alizeh is an independent woman trying to recover from a breakup. They happen to meet in New York and develop a strong bond. They then fall in love and experience life’s heartbreak and the ups and downs. The film was a box office success.
Dhadkan is a well-known 2000 Bollywood romance directed by Dharmesh Darshan. Sunil Shetty, Shilpa Shetty, and Akshay Kumar play the lead roles of Dev, Anjali, and Ram, respectively.
The plot revolves around the three characters’ love triangles. Anjali and Dev are in love and planning to marry, but her family arranges for her to marry someone else, Ram. Dev returns years later to reunite with Anjali, but she falls in love with Ram. This film inspired some popular Indian wedding songs and is still a fan favorite.
Mohabbatein, another popular film from 2000, was directed by Aditya Chopra, his second directorial venture, and produced by Yash Chopra. In the lead roles, Shahrukh Khan plays Raj Aryan, Aishwarya Rai plays Megha, and Amitabh Bachchan plays Narayan. In addition, six lively young students arrive at Gurukul to study.
They do the forbidden but fall in love, which enrages the patriarch. The lovers are powerless. They gradually came to terms with the fact that their relationship was probably doomed. Then, in the form of music teacher, comes their savior.
Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai
Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai is an exclusive Rakesh Roshan direction, starring Hrithik Roshan (Rohit), Ameesha Patel (Sonia), and Anupam Kher (Saxena), in which Sonia and Rohit are in love, but Rohit is mysteriously killed.
To cope with the tragedy, Sonia relocates to New Zealand, where she meets Rohit’s doppelganger, Raj, who assists her in locating Rohit’s killer. This film earned Hrithik Roshan the Filmfare Award for best male debut, among other honors.
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Another popular 2001 period film directed by Anil Sharma is Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel, and Amrish Puri play Tara Singh, Sakina, and Ashraf Ali, respectively, in the film.
Set against the backdrop of the threat of partition, the film depicts a young Tara who marries Sakina and leads a happy life. However, their joy is short-lived, as Sakina’s father forces her to stay with him in Pakistan, separating her from her family.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Aditya Chopra’s 1995 film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is the most popular bollywood romantic movie. The Yash Chopra-produced Indian romance stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol as Raj and Simran, two young hearts who meet during a trip to Europe and fall in love.
When Raj discovers that Simran has already been promised to someone else, he follows her back to India to win her and her father over. The film is one of the all-time favorites, grossing over $1 billion at the box office.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Another all-time favorite Bollywood romance, directed by Karan Johar, is regarded as one of the best romantic films in Indian cinema.
Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, and Rani Mukherjee star. The song, released in October 1998, is about a little girl named Anjali who, after reading the letter her mother had written to her before her death, decides to bring her father, Rahul, together with his true old love, who is also named Anjali. The film was a box office success and won numerous awards, including four Filmfare Awards.
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…!
This popular Indian Romance, directed by Sooraj Bharjatya, was a 1990s blockbuster. Nisha and Prem are played by Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan, respectively.
During his brother’s wedding, Prem meets his sister-in-law, Nisha, and the two fall in love. However, their relationship is jeopardized when his brother’s wife dies unexpectedly. Some of the most popular Bollywood songs from the decade are featured in the film. The film grossed $1.28 billion at the box office and won several awards.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, one of the most sought-after Bollywood films of the decade, is also one of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s most admired films.
The film, starring Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan, and Ajay Devgn, is about a newlywed young man who discovers his wife is in love with someone else and decides to bring them together. Ignoring the consequences, he takes his wife to Italy in search of her true love. This film contains some of my all-time favorite songs, which are still enjoyable to listen to.
These films and several others that did not cut were instrumental in redefining love on the big screen in the new millennium. So which bollywood romantic movies do you think are the best? Please let us know in the comments!