A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Love per Square Foot is a romantic comedy made in India with some rousing "Bollywood" musical numbers. Some characters speak English, others speak Hindi, with subtitles. Up-to-date conflicts involving cultural differences and the young adult desire for home ownership take center stage. It's a typical boy-meets girl, boy-loses girl, boy-gets-girl-back plot with no real surprises, but the journey to a happy ending is fun, if in need of some judicious editing at more than two hours in length. There's no overt sexuality or nudity; however, sexual elements -- such as infidelity and "will they or won't they? -- drive the plot. Expect kissing, romance, and some comic seduction sequences. A few swear words ("s--t," "Jesus") are heard, along with some sexual conversations (reference to erection, "screwing"). Continuing humor comes from plaster falling from the ceiling in one home, the result of noisy lovemaking in an upstairs apartment. Characters drink alcoholic beverages in social settings. For fans of the colorful, spirited Bollywood style of Indian filmmaking, the movie won't disappoint.
What's the story?
More than anything in the world, Sanjay (Vicky Kaushal) wants to own his own home in LOVE PER SQUARE FOOT. Sanjay is claustrophobic in his parents' small apartment and working hard as a tech engineer at Centrum, a major financial institution in Mumbai. Plus, his role as "the other man" in the life of his beautiful but self-absorbed boss is terribly unsatisfying. To have a house would symbolize both his independence and the fact that he's "made it" in the boisterous clamor of the city. Karina (Angira Dhar), who doesn't know Sanjay as the story opens, works in accounting on the second floor of Centrum and has the same aspirations. Living in a tiny apartment with her single mom and being engaged to a man of substantial means, but not-so-substantial emotional prowess, is, at best, a compromise. Lucky for both, a local lottery is in play -- applicants who can come up with a down payment have a chance to win the right to buy a small but extremely desirable apartment in a new building. The only catch is applying couples must be married. Lucky again, the two do meet, and though they're wary at first, they come up with a way to make their dreams come true: a marriage of convenience. But the significant others in their lives are appalled at such an idea -- particularly since the two are from different religions, which is a non-starter under any circumstances. What follows is an on-again, off-again journey to both home ownership and love ... with lots of obstacles along the way.
Is it any good?
The two charismatic lead actors are charming in this bright, colorful romance with a story that goes down easily and has just enough rousing musical numbers to give it solid Bollywood credentials. Vicky Kaushal and Angira Dhar, a newcomer, head a very engaging cast in a tale about the challenges of being young adults in the demanding, big-city world. Kids still living at home, the near-impossibility of owning even the tiniest of spaces, and the compromises that may trap even the best of us set the stage for a fairy tale romance. Filmmaker Anand Tiwari and his team deliver the goods: laughs, heart, and characters to root for. The film could be comfortably trimmed; more than two hours for such lightweight material can't help but slow the movie down. Comic sexual storylines make Love per Square Foot best for teens and up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how romantic comedies function as a respite from our day-to-day cares. How do you feel when Love per Square Foot ends? What other film genres have a similar effect on audiences? Why is entertainment such a welcome and essential part of our experience?
Bolster your filmmaking IQ. What does the term "Bollywood" mean? What is the origin of the term? What can viewers expect to see in this film genre?
Love per Square Foot has a very traditional romantic-comedy structure: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. Why is this concept so satisfying? In what ways do modern romantic comedies take the place of old-fashioned fairy tales?