Set It Up

⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: A totally typical rom-com with some genuinely funny, quirky moments and a decent cast, but it won't light your world on fire.


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

A Netflix special with a cast I've largely never heard of, with the exceptions of Lucy Liu (wonderful as ever) and Pete Davidson, who is irritatingly great throughout for someone who I quite heavily dislike as a general human. The plot is a bit weird: two New York assistants, both with incredibly annoying, powerful bosses that belittle them and treat them like dirt, end up conspiring to get their bosses to hook up in the hope it gives them some free time. I liked that neither were just weak-willed people. Harper is doing this to try and break into sports journalism, with her boss being considered one of the all-time greats in the field, whilst Charlie is, well, an incredibly boring white man who just wants a job that pays extremely well and works for the top VC in NY. Ultimately, they obviously end up falling for each other instead, whilst learning some life lessons about their jobs etc. etc.

Nothing in Set it Up is particularly novel or even that well done. The humour is a weird mixture of genuinely funny and try-harding that falls flat; the performances are largely solid but with some slightly strange moments; and the male lead (Charlie) spends the entire film acting like a bit of a douche and yet gets the much more likeable, far more intelligent (both emotionally and cognitively) girl in the end. He also has a mildly off-putting smile... Oh, and the plot runs surprisingly smoothly and often takes a back seat to the rest of the side stories.

Still, Creepy Tim is wonderful, the pizza-ladder scene was brillinatly done, and I did enjoy the skewering of the classic "white male fantasy" as a largely soulless and pointless endeavour. After all, at the start of the movie Charlie has a high-paying job for an incredibly successful VC firm, a supermodel girlfriend, and all the suits he could ever desire. Yet his entire existence is shown to be shallow, boring, and just a waste of a life. I also liked that both main characters actually had decent close friends who helped them in subtle ways, and that both of them had their bullshit called out by those friends.

The result was a film I enjoyed, I frequently laughed along with, and which occasionally delighted. As a rom-com, you could do a lot worse.

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