As soon as the opening credits began rolling, I couldn’t help but let a goofy grin spread across my face.
The colourful title, “Set It Up”, jumbled playfully across the screen while the groovy music walked us briskly into the opening scene – it was all too familiar in the best way possible. Truthfully, I hadn’t seen an opening like that since I watched Notting Hill (so, like… a couple days ago), which is possibly now at risk of being bumped down to my second favourite rom com after watching this new Netflix gem.
So, here’s a quick synopsis. The film follows two personal assistants to two successful, career-driven bosses. Harper, marvellously portrayed by Zoey Deutch, works around the clock for sports journalist Kirsten, played by Lucy Liu. In the same building, Charlie, played by Glenn Powell, does the same for his boss Rick.
The two tired assistants meet, realise their bosses have some things in common/are both in need of some lovin’, and, you guessed it, quite literally “set it up”. It being their bosses, of course. They scheme together to make Kirsten and Rick fall for each other, and though you might think the story line sounds at risk of succumbing to a predictable formula, it doesn’t end the way you’d expect.
You see, the film manages to preserve all the aspects of old school rom coms we so desperately crave in the midst of what are some, frankly, pretentiously flashy films today.
When it comes to romantic comedies, sometimes change just doesn’t work for the general audience. Some of us want the cheesy, lingering moments between love interests, the borderline cringeworthy music, and the fast-paced dialogue. Set It Up manages to pull off all these elements without turning the film into complete mush, all thanks to the immaculate timing from every actor.
But the movie also successfully weaves in themes our favourite 90s rom coms were without. There were some, “You go girl!”, moments in Set It Up that weren’t at all forced but in fact seamless, and Zoey Duetch’s authentic awkwardness was both fresh and hilarious.
As you may be able to deduce, this one’s a winner. So, next time you’ve got your comfortable pyjamas on, a spoon in one hand, and a tub of ice cream in the other, try refraining from dipping into your trustworthy collection of old school rom coms and give this new Netflix one a go.