Set It Up is a fun, refreshing film in a time where romcoms that enter our cultural consciousness are either iconoclastic Hollywood blockbusters (from Bridesmaids to Pretty Woman) or cringeworthy Netflix originals (A Christmas Prince anyone?).
The film revolves around personal assistants Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell) who decide to hook their terrifying bosses together to have time for themselves. The assistants are destined for a conventional love story from the very second that they meet; however, the plot stays interesting due to the less predictable engineered romance between the bosses and the scene-stealer, Harper. Charlie is played charismatically by Powell, but Harper is a rare, relatable character in comparison to the manic pixie dream girl, so common in female leads of past romcoms.
Netflix are finally injecting what is great about their shows into their original romcom features. With the neat, no-frills cinematography it is no surprise that the director, Claire Scanlon, directs single-camera shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Like these shows, Set It Up‘s writing is socially conscious without trying hard. However the similarity to Netflix’s series may be why some scenes more focused on character than plot feel a little too fast-paced.
The actors all have great chemistry with each other, even when only a small amount of screen time is shared. This is particularly true of Pete Davidson’s and Meredith Hagner’s performances as the respective roommates of Charlie and Harper, and even Harper and her boss Kirsten (Lucy Liu).
The writing and performances make Set It Up a fun watch with cute moments that may have reference-worthy potential in popular culture. It could be a lighthearted Netflix show if broken into pieces, because it’s made from all the right ingredients.
CAST: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Pete Davidson, Meredith Hagner, Titus Burgess, Joan Smalls
DIRECTOR: Claire Scanlon
WRITER: Katie Silberman
SYNOPSIS: Two young assistants realise that perhaps the only way their bosses may become better people is if these bosses fall in love with each other.