Pooveli movie opens with the main characters revealing their thoughts on love. Kousalya feels one must love before the wedding while Heera feels love is for after the wedding. Radharavi is totally opposed to love and feels its a way in which children cheat their parents while Karthik is totally for it.
Karthik follows Heera around expressing his love for her. But when she insults his love, he promises he wouldn't trouble her again and that one day, she would understand him and come to him. He runs into Kousalya, his classmate in school, who has recently lost her lover in an accident. To force her father to accept her love, she had already told him that she was married. Circumstances force her uncle to think Karthik is her husband and they go back to her house in the village.
Their plan is for Karthik to earn the displeasure of the members of her household so that he can leave, but his plans backfire and earn him their love and affection. As he continues living there, he starts to like having a family around and also falls in love with Kousalya. The only black sheep in their family is Anandraj, who keeps troubling them.
Manorama, Kousalya's grandmother, finds out the arrangement between Karthik and Kousalya, but since she likes Karthik, plays a trick to get them both married.
Heera, who has meanwhile developed feelings for Karthik, shows up at the village before the wedding creating doubts in the minds of the other. This leads to some confusion and problems which are cleared in the climax.