Does this premise sound familiar? Beautiful but slightly hypochondriac and unlucky in love, Anu (sexy Priyanka Chopra) flies back to London for the wedding of her stepsister Shinari. Anu knows that her ex-boyfriend Danny, with whom she's still in love, will also be attending and comes up with a plan to win him back. Accordingly, she hires Aman (Akshaye Khanna), a charming co-worker she barely knows, to pretend to be her boyfriend in hopes of making Danny jealous. Shenanigans then ensue...
AAP KI KHATIR (Only For You) is the faithful Bollywood adaptation of THE WEDDING DATE, a shallow 2005 romantic-comedy film which starred Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney. I actually like this version much more than the American feature, of which I wasn't too fond, anyway. AAP KI KHATIR isn't a top notch cinematic offering; it's a fairly decent attempt which benefits from the presence of Priyanka Chopra. Don't get me wrong now, Priyanka doesn't deliver an award-winning acting turn here. In fact, her character comes off as somewhat pathetic in certain scenes. Still, Priyanka exudes that star quality and this should draw in a wider viewing audience. However, the movie could've invested more time in further developing the burgeoning relationship of Aman and Anu. I did get a kick out of the back and forth infighting between 'em, it was cute.
Now I've seen Priyanka in several live performances on various award shows as she's danced to several of her film songs. And, so far, I've only seen her in two films (although I just got a bunch more of her movies). But it seems to me that the quality and vigor of her dancing in movies don't quite live up to that of her energetic live stage acts. Priyanka has funky, funky moves which should be taken better advantage of by the filmmakers. There are 6 songs in AAP KI KHATIR, some of which are worthy of finger snapping and rhythmic head bobbings. The title song rocked, as did the club scene track "Tu Hai Kamaal" and the quirky "I Love You For What You Are." The gently melodic "Meethi Meethi Batan" number has the girls dancing in traditional Indian garb and also seems to offer a turning point in Anu's feelings for Aman. The title song "Aap Ki Khatir" shows off Priyanka's dancing best but, again, pales in comparison with her live performances. Meanwhile, the lead actor Akshaye Khanna just looks awkward on the dance floor. However, his acting suffices as he certainly pulls off his suave yet down-to-earth good guy role.
By the way, it dawned on me that the English sub-title work here is less than spectacular. I figured this out when the characters would occasionally speak in English and the sub-titles would then indicate some other words as having been uttered. That is all kinds of lame.
The film moves at a nice clip and the comedy is kept at a breezy touch, although Anu's stepdad tends to be annoying with his ring tone schtick. I did get a mild chuckle out of his one reference to DHOOM. Mostly, the humor comes from the two leads' snippy interactions (more snippy from Anu's side, Aman's pretty laid back). I like the movie premise. I even liked it in THE WEDDING DATE, which is why I sat thru that whole mess. As I've said, AAP KI KHATIR does a better job of being more enjoyable, even with the so-so quality of the acting. Plus, if you've seen Debra Messing's version, then there's not much room for surprises here as this film seems to borrow from the source scene for scene. So, three stars for this one. I think it's worth checking out.