Sunday, July 1, 2018

Movie Review: "Set It Up" (2018)

Director: Claire Scanlon
Year: 2018
Rating: TV-14
Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Two personal assistants looking to climb the corporate ladder set up their insufferable task-master bosses with each other in the hopes that the two will begin a relationship, and in turn, lighten their workload.
"We are the men behind the curtain. We can get them to do anything." (Image Source)
We have no doubt that somewhere in this country, in some miserable office building, bosses like the ones that are shown in "Set It Up" exist. This movie is directed by Claire Scanlon. This is her feature film debut, though she does have a lot of experience directing some very funny television shows like "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," and "The Last Man on Earth." It is written by Katie Silberman and is her first feature film writing credit. Silberman wrote a couple of short films and was a producer on movies like "How to be Single" and "Hot Pursuit." This story is about two personal assistants named Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell). They are both at the beck and call of their task-master bosses, Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and Rick (Taye Diggs), two bigwigs in their respective fields. Harper and Charlie are both run ragged and have no time for their personal lives, so they concoct a scheme to set their overlords up with each other romantically. While Kirsten and Rick are busy with each other, Harper and Charlie will finally have time to lead their own lives and enjoy more fulfilling personal endeavors.
"A lot of men proposed to me in my 20's. I could be thrice divorced by now!" (Image Source)
From the first second "Set It Up" starts, you know exactly how it's going to end. This is a by-the-numbers romantic comedy. It follows the all too common narrative where two people don't like each other and are put in a situation where they must work together, then they grow to appreciate each other, then they have some kind of falling out, but eventually fall in love. The things that really determine if it's worth watching are the characters, the performances, and the overall likeability and humor of the film since it offers nothing new in terms of plot. Luckily, this movie succeeds in all of those areas. What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in charm, sweetness, and funniness. Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell are both amusing, entertaining, and have really good chemistry together. Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs also do an excellent job playing their insufferable bosses. Rick is the kind of guy who won't drink liquor if it cost less than $200 per bottle, and Kirsten is the type of woman who asserts herself in not only her male-dominated field of work but in the bedroom as well. They each have a different approach and reasoning behind their demanding nature. Together, these characters make up a reasonably perfect storm of zaniness, comedy, and debauchery. Another small but very noteworthy performance comes from Pete Davidson, who plays Charlie's roommate Duncan. He isn't on the screen very often, but when he is, he always hits the mark with a hilarious quip.
"I think we did something really good." (Image Source)
In the end, "Set It Up" may have an extremely familiar story, but there is still enough to like about it that makes it worth checking out. It's sort of sweet, it's adorable at times, and we'd be lying if we said we didn't laugh a lot. This movie looks like "When Harry Met Sally" in comparison to all of the other crap Netflix has put out in recent months.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.6/10
RT Rating: ~94%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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