Growing up a ‘90s West Indian kid in suburban (and very white) Vancouver, Bollywood films were’t universally acclaimed, or even watched, among my friends. Aside from our few and far between watch parties in the basement of our childhood home, when my sister and I would dress up and force our friends to dance along to the songs with us, our viewing habits tended to lean more towards Lizzie McGuire
or cult classics
like How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
. Because of this, films like K3G
felt otherworldly and different from everything I’d seen. Even now, the songs and dances buzz with color, and the women (including Kajol, a darling of the screen throughout the ’90s and 2000s) are funny, intelligent, outspoken, and
can rock a lehenga and a great pair of ‘90s jeans. The men are hunky
. But even more than that, they’re romantic, in touch with their feelings and, more often than not, super earnest about them. (Find me a man on a modern dating app willing to follow me all the way across the world to convince your parents he’s a good guy or who’ll serenade you on the violin in a perfectly fitted sweater set
). In the world of these films, it’s not only normal to give yourself over entirely to the impracticality of all-consuming love, it’s encouraged and even celebrated — often with a vibrant and stunningly beautiful dance number.