In this world, what's the most important reason to get married? Love! In India, however, there are a few more steps. The girl's family has to love the boy. The boy's family has to love the girl. The boy's family has to love the girl's family... and the girl's family has to love the boy's family. After all this, if the boy and girl still love each other, then they get married.
—Krish Malhotra, explaining his predicament
2 States is a 2014 Romantic Bollywood film, starring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhat, based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Indian author Chetan Bhagat.
Krish Malhotra (Kapoor), an engineer with writing aspirations from a Punjabi family from Delhi, and Ananya Swaminathan (Bhatt), an economist from a Tamilian Bramhin family from Chennai, met while pursuing a MBA degree ay IIM Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Despite a sightly rocky beginning, the pair falls in love and have a pretty serious romance during their time in the program, eventually becoming engaged. They decide to drop the news to their families together on their graduation day.
To their dismay, the event results in a total disaster: Krish's total loudmouth of a mother insults and demeans Ananya's more quiet and conservative parents, so naturally both sets of parents doesn't want anything with their children's loved. While temporarily deterred by this setback, Krish and Ananya decides that he will make both their families love their beloved and accept their marriage. Needless to say, this is easier said than done, what with the cultural, social, and interpersonal differences between both families.
- Arranged Marriage: it's an Indian film, so this is to be expected.
- Krish's family refuses to hear anything of him marrying a Tamilian woman and insist on fix him with a "suitable Punjabi girl". Needless to say, Krish prefers to move to Chennai to keep pursuing Ananya rather than get along with such a plan.
- Later in the film, Ananya is invited to the wedding of one of Krish's cousins, and realizes that it is one of those due to the big difference of attractiveness between the bride and the groom. She successfully uses this to shame the groom into stop demanding more dowry, by pointing out that he couldn't have get such a cute girl by himself.
- Can't Live with Them Can't Live Without Them: Krish and Ananya relationship towards the last third of the film. As their mutual insistence of having their families to get along puts more and more pressure in their relationship, they get distant and hostile, but when they actually break up for real, they are so unhappy and unable to function their families actually have to step on. Once their parents finally get along enough to not disturb their children happiness, Krish and Ananya get back into Sickeningly Sweethearts.
- Culture Clash: Krish and Ananya find themselves in the crossfire of it.
- Ananya isn't that surprised that Krish's cousin is getting in an arranged marriage, but she's shocked when she notices that the bride's family is the one paying dowry to the groom, since in the southern states (from where she's from) the opposite is the most common situation.
- Krish finds himself in the bad side of Tamilian culture, not only because their reservedness makes him more difficult to discover how to please his in-laws, but because after accidentally offending them by asking them to speak in Hindi so he wouldn't keep being excluded of conversation they willingly erected the language barrier against him.
- Dysfunctional Family: the Malholtras. Kavita, the mother, is a classist and racist lady with absolutely no filter; Vikram, the father, is an workaholic with drinking problems that isn't emotionally close to either his wife or son. Krish, their child, is sightly saner, but still has a bad case of desperately wanting his parental approval mixed with an increasingly unsubtle disdain for them.
- Driven to Suicide: the film begins with Krish going with a psychiatrist in a disheveled state, looking for help precisely because of wanting to kill himself. We later know that it was because Ananya dumped him after one slight so many and he found living without her unbearable.
- Exact Eavesdropping: Ananya and her parents come back to the dining room just when Krish is (falsely) assuring his mother that she can treat Ananya however she wants after they are married. Naturally, neither Ananya nor her parents are happy of hear it.
- How We Got Here: the Framing Device. The film begins with Krish visiting a psychiatrist for suicidal ideation, with the story about how he got to that point being told in flashbacks.
- Happily Married: The Swaminathans. They are not the lovey-dovey usually associated to this trope, but they seem very content to be and be seen together (in very stark contrast with the Malhotras, where when called by representation in social functions only Kavita will appear, and are shown to barely tolerate each other in private) and the husband supports his wife's attempts to foray into singing. In the end, Krish and Ananya.
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Kavita tries to dismiss Ananya before even meeting her by saying that she isn't let her darling son to marry "some dark skinned southerner"; when Krish points out that Ananya actually is fair-skinned, Kavita changes her tune to "light-skinned southerners are worse!".
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Ananya and Krish's relationship is treated like this, at least by the elder generation.
- Parental Marriage Veto: the plot of the film is the protagonist trying to get their parents to willingly lift it for them.
- Back in college, Vikram did this to Krish's then girlfriend, which ended with their breakup. By the time Krish met Ananya he was mostly over, but it still is a contentious point between him and his father.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Kavita, the closest thing this film has as a villain, is unapologetically racist and classist.
- Third-Act Misunderstanding: See Exact Eavesdropping to get what origine it. Krish actually was saying that to keep his mother quiet enough during their bi-familial vacation and wasn't actually wanting to go trough it, but by this point Kavita has insulted Ananya and her parents so much she doesn't want anything to do with him.
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: Two of them in the film, both by Krish.
- The first is when he crashes Ananya's job recruitment interview, just to declare his love and ask her if she wants to marry him. She answers in the affirmative to get him out, before going back to the interview.
- The second is when he ask for Ananya's hand to her family during a lunch, by declaring "I want to marry you". As in plural you. Complete with rings for every one of the Swaminathans.
- What You Are in the Dark:
- On the eyes of Ananya, Krish failed this with the depicted Exact Eavesdropping.
- Vikram, who during all the film was shown as an insensible, distant man who disdains his family and his son's wellbeing, travels to Chennai to apologize for his wife's crass behavior and ask for the hand of the woman his son loves. Said son doesn't discover it until after his fiancee calls back with the good news.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: the closest to approval Ananya can get of her mother in law.