If you were born in the 2000s, then you are probably too young to appreciate this. But for the rest of us rom-com suckers, the late 2000s and the early 2010s were the days of Imran Khan.
Back then, we were convinced that he was the cute Jake Johnson/Nick Miller type human we had been waiting for. And it wasn't like we hadn't been deceived before. His uncle did it in some of his earlier movies. Even the legendary Shah Rukh Khan had the charm in some of his earlier movies. This is not to say he still doesn't have it, you just can't associate SRK with himbo, man. Dreamy, yes, himbo, no!
But Imran Khan fit the description perfectly. All his characters were cute, chivalrous, built from a little different mould, and for a while, Khan competed against Ranbir Kapoor as the God of Bollywood romcoms and deadass won.
This wasn't a guy who was going to fight 20 guys for you. But he could talk those 20 guys into not fighting. Khan's characters were good people, nice and sensitive. They weren't man-children. They looked after you, they were considerate and they listened to you. Everyone loves that.
His movies too, were different. Other than Kidnap and Luck, I mean. Those were real shitshows.
Remember Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008)? It used the old Bollywood trope of two best friends realising they are in love but did it with so much care and empathy and made it so relatable for our generation. The music, the themes, the vibes, it was all perfect. And it was hella progressive.
And then there was Mere Brother Ki Dulhaniya, which marked the cute phase in Katrina Kaif's career with the bangs, hairbands, the girl next door aura. It's actually quite underrated. It's funny, cute and shows you what real organic sexual tension between two people actually looks like.
That's not something you get to see on screen today. Forget Bollywood, even Hollywood seems to have forgotten about it.
Sure, it was a little bumpy after that. I mean, I wouldn't recommend I Hate Luv Stories to even to my food-stealing freeloader of a sister. But in all fairness, it was a good attempt for that time.
Which was also the case with Break Ke Baad starring Deepika Padukone. That movie didn't do very well at the box office but I am just gonna go ahead and say and it's not because of my Deepika Padukone bias, it was a good film. It was funny and romantic and it was unique with its alternate endings.
Then there were movies like Ek Main aur Ekk Tu (couple of epic dance numbers) and Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, which tried introducing us to real love stories, stories that happened all around us but we never got to see them on-screen.
It's the kind of movies you could watch with anyone. You could watch them with your partner, your parents even. Hell, you could go out with your friends to watch these films and by the end of it, there was a tiny tiny chance that both of you would want to be a couple. 1 in a 1000 chance but you gotta take the win when you can.
These romcoms were a whole mood. I really, really miss them. And from what I can see, I am not the only one.
*why did Imran khan quit acting, we want those romcoms era back pic.twitter.com/RrS4CUtlAz— Toby (@samarrkf) July 7, 2021
i believe in Imran Khan romcoms era supremacy <3— Bee ღ (@slxttyscars) July 7, 2021
Idk about others but when I say I miss Imran Khan romcoms, I mean I miss the cute af movies he did. They don't make movies like those anymore.— Disgruntled Pelican 🏳️🌈 (@ThisisLLN) August 23, 2021
Koi usko Oscar worthy actor nhi bol raha besties calm the fuck down 🙃 https://t.co/V3a7qtzBDj
How do you all not miss Imran khan and his romcoms pic.twitter.com/wAMnKyFLuI— shwee⁷ (@taevocii) April 18, 2021
society if imran khan returned to bollywood and starred in those feel good romcoms once again pic.twitter.com/3jbhYtsfB7— leah🔪 (@howneedy) July 15, 2021
Petition to bring Imran khan back for more romcoms. pic.twitter.com/ecACixq4qq— Alina🇵🇸 (@bskaroalina) July 3, 2021
Now the man has quit acting and is following his other passions. According to India Today, Khan wanted to be a writer-director and wasn't that keen on acting anymore. He has always been a very private person anyway. In an Reddit AMA, the former actor had said that he found the Bollywood bubble to be very suffocating.
It's not really a conscious effort. I'm genuinely not interested in most of the hoopla. I like my quiet, peaceful life, I like my old friends, I like my cats and dogs... Ideally, I'd just make movies and skip the rest of the media circus.
- Imran Khan
Look, we are really happy for him wherever he is, doing whatever he wants. Nobody deserves it more. That said, if he came back and made those movies... I am not saying the world will be a better place for sure, but hey, we are already at the end of days, what do we have to lose?