1. Om Santhi Oshana (2014)
A teenage love story from the perspective of a girl, this
Nazriya Nazim-starrer won hearts with its brilliant screenplay and humorous take on teenage crushes. Directed by newbie, Jude Anthony Joseph, the film had
Nivin Pauly as the indifferent love interest. It’s one of the finest coming-of-age movies in Malayalam yet.
2. Premam (2015)
Alphonse Puthren’s second movie did justice to the hype it had built, attaining cult status soon upon its release. It told the story of George (Nivin Pauly), and his three encounters with love, as a teenager, a youth, and finally, as a man. Anupama Parameswaran,
Sai Pallavi, and Madonna Sebastian made their debuts through this film, which was later remade in Telugu under the same title.
Boeing Boeing (1985)
Directed by Priyadarshan, this Mohanlal-Mukesh-starrer was considered a milestone in the genre of romantic comedy. The funny story of two unemployed youths trying to keep their multiple girlfriends from meeting each other, was something refreshing for the viewers who were fed up with the regular crass comedies of the time. Sukumari as a housemaid delivered one of her best performances.
4. Salt n’ Pepper (2011)
This Ashiq Abu directorial became part of the Malayali pop culture with its refreshing narrative, hilarious screenplay, and peppy songs. The director’s aim of bringing out a new generation rom-com was well aided by the dedicated performances from veteran Lal,
Asif Ali, Swetha Menon, and Mythili. But the surprise element was Baburaj, who turned comedian from villain overnight.
Bangalore Days (2014)
Anjali Menon’s second movie had an ensemble cast including Nivin Pauly, Dulquer Salman, Nazriya Nazim, and
Fahadh Faasil. But that’s not the reason why this film is on this list. With its exceptional writing, situational humour, and the evergreen charm of cousinship, this movie grabbed the hearts of Malayalis across the globe.
6. Godfather (1991)
Well, Malayalis may not know
Al Pacino, but they know S.N Pillai for sure. This rom-com by Siddique-Lal had the iconic stage actor playing Anjooraan, leading his family against the rival faction under Aanappurathu Achaama (Filomena). Mukesh and Kanaka played a couple caught between the two rival families.
Another Siddique movie, ‘Bodyguard’ told the tale of a young student (Nayantara),falling in love with her bodyguard (Dileep).The humorous way in which the director handled the situation, in which one lover is not aware of the other’s identity made the film special. The film was remade in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi.
A heart-warming comedy, ‘Midhunam’ had Mohanlal and Urvasi in the lead, and told the tale of a couple failing to come to terms with the post-marriage lack of romance. This Priyadarshan directorial was a humorous take on the problems faced by the newly wed couples.
One of the romantic movies made by Kamal before he started taking up serious subjects, ‘Niram’ cemented Kunchako Boban’s position as the romantic hero of the ‘90s. Boban and Syamily played two best friends who eventually fall in love, making the situation complex. The melodious songs and the impeccable comic timing of the actors have made it one of the most loved romantic films in Malayalam.
Thattathin Marayathu (2012)
This Nivin Pauly-starrer marked the debut of
Isha Talwar in Malayalam. Directed by
Vineeth Sreenivasan, this musical romance set in northern Kerala became a sensational hit upon its release, catapulting Nivin Pauly to an overnight stardom and Isha Talwar to every Malayali's dream girl. The songs, the cinematography, and the huge newbie presence made the movie a refreshing watch.