A poster for the Bollywood film "London Paris New York." (20th Century Fox )
In the airy Bollywood romance "London Paris New York," the thrill of spending a long day in a faraway city with someone you're growing smitten with is taken to a bubble-like extreme: Maybe only a handful of lines go to anybody else besides attractive leads Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari.
Pakistani pop singer Zafar plays a wealthy Bollywood scion and aspiring filmmaker named Nikhil, who at a London airport meets Lalitha (Hydari), a politically minded college student on her way to university in New York. On three separate days over eight years in the titular cities — with monuments in the background, for picture postcard's sake — they spar, flirt, fall in love, share a bed, betray each other and finally reunite as slightly older, sager individuals. Writer-director Anu Menon puts such total faith in her stars' ability to draw us into their emotional ups and downs that the simplistic nature of the touristy setup — and the conventions of their romance — escapes her.
That said, Hydari fares better as a complicated mixture of guardedness, freedom-seeker and unwitting tease. There's a lot going on in her enchanting, brilliantly expressive eyes. Zafar, on the other hand, seems stuck in self-satisfied gear from early on.
"London Paris New York." Rated PG-13 (for sexual content and smoking). Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. At Naz 8, Laemmle Fallbrook.