The 10 Best Romantic Bollywood Movies of the 1990s

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Timeless songs, iconic dance moves and a collection of emotionally charged love stories— the ‘90s were truly a defining era for romantic Bollywood films. Young directors like Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra introduced a whole new wave of culture with their new-age films that brought dreamy international destinations, designer wear, and pop culture into the spotlight.

Filled with grand romantic gestures, memorable dialogues, dreamy locations, and classic songs, there’s nothing better than a good old romantic Bollywood movie from the ‘90s when you’re in the mood for well-rounded entertainment.

Whether you’re new to Bollywood or in a nostalgic mood to rewatch some timeless classics, here’s our pick of the 10 best romantic Bollywood movies from the 1990s and where you can stream them online.

Bollywood’s Love for Love Triangles

Love triangles were a common theme in ‘90s Bollywood films. They showcased the complexities of relationships and often reflected the conflict young Indians faced as they navigated love in a rapidly modernizing society.

Some of the most popular Bollywood movies with love triangles, like Rangeela, a movie about an aspiring actress caught in a love triangle between her childhood friend and a famous movie star; Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, a movie about a newly married woman torn between her loyalty towards her husband and her lingering love towards a passionate ex; and Dil To Pagal Hai, an upbeat musical romance where two dancers vie for the affections of their choreographer, were released in the nineties.

Family and Cultural Conflicts

During the ‘90s, Bollywood films with family and cultural conflicts resonated strongly with a generation struggling to balance the traditional expectations from their families while embracing the new modern values that came with India’s liberalization. Movies like Hum Saath Saath Hain, Raja Hindustani, and Hum Aapke Hain Koun challenged cultural norms like living in a joint family, the concept of arranged marriage, and the idea that marriage can only exist within the same societal class. These films are famous not only for their deep and timeless love stories but also for questioning age-old norms and seeing them through the eyes of the younger generation.

Unconventional Love Stories

In between all the songs, mushy romance, and dance, Bollywood movies from the ‘90s also had a unique way of getting serious messages across. Movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai stood out for normalizing the concept of remarriage by showing it through the innocent lens of a child’s eye trying to reunite her father with his former female best friend after losing her mother. Yash Chopra’s iconic film, Lamhe, pushed the envelope by bringing a love story between a young girl and a guy old enough to be her father into the spotlight of mainstream cinema.

The #1 Romantic Bollywood Movie from the ‘90s: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

You can’t talk about nineties Bollywood without mentioning Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Marking Aditya Chopra’s debut film as a director, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), tells the story of Simran, a small-town girl from Punjab who falls in love with Raj, a modern boy she meets while on her bachelorette trip in Switzerland. The movie focuses on the trials and tribulations that stand in the way of their love as Simran’s family pressurizes her to live up to the promise of marrying a boy she barely knows.

Whether it's the dreamy backdrop of Switzerland, the iconic pairing of Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan, or the catchy songs, DDLJ has transcended from being a movie to becoming a cultural phenomenon. Considered one of the most influential movies of its time, the film ran in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir theater for 27 years, continuing to attract viewers for more than two decades following its initial release. The film also inspired the production of a Broadway musical titled Come Fall In Love in 2022.

It’s #1 on our list as it combines everything from mushy romance and dreamy locations to compelling family dynamics and an unforgettable soundtrack, making it a memorable watch every single time.

Curious to know more about the other 10 best romantic Bollywood movies from the nineties? Check out the full list below:

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aha
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  1. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

    #1

    Raj is a rich, carefree, happy-go-lucky second generation NRI. Simran is the daughter of Chaudhary Baldev Singh, who in spite of being an NRI is very strict about adherence to Indian values. Simran has left for India to be married to her childhood fiancé. Raj leaves for India with a mission at his hands, to claim his lady love under the noses of her whole family. Thus begins a saga.

  2. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

    Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

    1998

    IMDB 7.5 (57k)

    #2

    Per her mother's last wish, an 8 year old girl sets out to reunite her father with his college best friend who was in love with him.

  3. Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!

    #3

    Prem and Nisha meet and fall in love at the wedding of their elder siblings, but their plans to be together are put in jeopardy when Nisha's sister dies, leaving behind a baby.

  4. Raja Hindustani

    Raja Hindustani

    1996

    IMDB 6.1 (8k)

    #4

    This is a story of a handsome young taxi driver, Raja, who falls in love with a beautiful rich girl, Aarti. Despite her family's disapproval Aarti marries Raja and goes to live with him in his village. Aarti's stepmother, uncle and cousin weave a web of deception to split them apart. Will Aarti realize that her stepmother is deceiving her? Will Raja and Aarti ever get back together?

  5. Dil To Pagal Hai

    Dil To Pagal Hai

    1997

    IMDB 7.0 (24k)

    #5

    Rahul, the director of a successful dance troupe, considers Nisha his best friend, though secretly, she is madly in love with him. He then falls for Pooja, who is engaged to Ajay.

  6. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

    #6

    Nandini has to choose between Sameer, the man who taught her to fall in love; and Vanraj, the man from whom she learnt how to abide and fulfill promises of love.

  7. Rangeela

    Rangeela

    1995

    IMDB 7.4 (10k)

    #7

    A poor young woman, who dreams of Bollywood fame, is caught in a love triangle between her childhood friend and a famous actor.

  8. Lamhe

    Lamhe

    1991

    IMDB 7.2 (3k)

    #8

    Viren falls for Pallavi, but she marries Siddharth. The couple dies, leaving behind their daughter, who grows up to look just like her mother and falls in love with Viren.

  9. Hum Saath Saath Hain

    #9

    Ramkishen and his wife Mamta have three sons. Prem and Vinod have sweethearts in Preeti and Vivek marries Sangeeta. Since Vivek is Mamta's step-son, she plots to alienate him, but will she succeed?

  10. Darr

    Darr

    1993

    #10

    A woman is caught between one man's love and another man's obsession. She fears one and fears for the other. One stands for love and the other for life. Who will she choose?