Some brief thoughts from Beth Loves Bollywood, one of the biggest Saif fans out there:
Why did everyone hate this when it came out? I think it's funny and breezy, and I appreciate the experiment of a story about people who are their own worst enemies instead of facing fantastic hurdles from the outside. As much as I like Saif Ali Khan, here quite in his good-at-duplicitousness form as someone struggling with the lies he tells himself*, the star of this for me is Preity Zinta as an appropriately exasperated grownup guiding hand. Govinda's great too and he's present just the right amount—more wouldn't have made sense. My only problem with Happy Ending is Kalki Koechlin's character, who is written too broadly to be believed as a threat or obstacle. Note how geography is used in this: the American context may be significant for characters who are searching, reinventing, running, and lying, in contrast with the words and emotional heft of the portion set in India.
* I think I've seen way more bashing of Saif Ali Khan for being too old to play this kind of moronic lovesick manchild character than is deserved, given that that is what many Hindi film heroes do much of the time, by actors who are older than he is, and in this film (as in Cocktail and Love Aaj Kal) the character is critiqued for being such. Also, it's not his major character type; if you look at his last ten years of films, he does other things more than he does this (Bullett Raja, Go Goa Gone, the Race films, Agent Vinod, Aarakshan, Kurbaan, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, Omkara...).
I don't have a ton of interest in seeing this; Saif is one of those people I like better as a co-hero rather than a solo hero and I was annoyed by the weak song picturizations and the writer's lifestyle stuff sounded ridiculous and not in a fun way. That being said, I totally agree with Beth's assessment that he is picked on unfairly about the over-the-hill manchild thing re: Happy Ending. (The freakin' trailer says in so many words that he's an over-the-hill manchild and this is a bad thing. That's a brave attitude to take on his part and he should be commended for it.)
Firangi with terrible taste in actors, movies, and music. Any commentary is not to be taken seriously.
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