Romance Revitalized: Set It Up
We continue our look at movies revitalizing the romance genre by highlighting another fairly recent Netflix release, Set It Up. This romantic comedy was directed by Claire Scanlon and written by Katie Silberman. The story follows two overworked assistants who decide to make their lives easier by setting up their demanding bosses. The film stars Zoey Deutch as one of the assistants, Harper Moore, and Glen Powell as the other assistant, Charlie Young. The film’s cast also includes Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Joan Smalls, Meredith Hagner, Pete Davidson, and Jon Rudnitsky.
The film begins with a look at assistants all over New York City being interrupted by their demanding bosses. This montage ends with Harper Moore, who is an assistant to Kirsten, an editor of an online sports journalism empire. Harper is expected to order a late night dinner for her boss, which becomes complicated when she realizes she doesn’t have the cash available for the meal. It is in this meltdown with the delivery guy that she meets Charlie Young, another assistant who is scrounging to find a meal for his boss, Rick. Charlie ends up buying the meal and unwillingly splits it with Harper so that their jobs are secure. The two compare notes of their miserable schedules and soon make a joke that they should “Cyrano” their bosses. After some consideration, that is exactly what they do and soon find their own paths crossing more frequently in the process.
While Set It Up is not a groundbreaking romantic comedy, its premise and charm easily harken back to some of the classic romantic comedies from the 1990’s. It excels in comical meet cutes and quirky conversations. It is a little cheesy at times but in the best way possible. It takes the premise of The Parent Trap and essentially changes it to a plan to set up their bosses instead of their parents. The comedy is ever-present as these two do whatever is necessary to keep their bosses talking and falling in love.
Of course, the highlight of this cute romantic comedy is found in its two leads. Zoey Deutch is especially charming as the eager-to-please Harper. Her comedy chops completely shine through in her interactions with Glen Powell and Lucy Liu, and she is instantly likable before the set up plan is even hatched. Powell’s character does not start off with that same amount of likability, but he pulls off well the sarcastic, career-driven character he is given. The two of them easily communicate to the audience just how much they need to regain a part of their personal lives, and it is their journeys that make this movie so enjoyable. The supporting cast is also fantastic with Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs portraying these two demanding individuals, and Pete Davidson stands out as Charlie’s brutally honest best friend and roommate.
While the movie is cute and enjoyable, I think it really gained prominence as Netflix’s first release to bring some revitalization to the romance genre. It succeeds in doing that by providing a cute story that ventures into the idea of what we’re willing to do to succeed in work and also captures the simple joys of falling in love. The story will keep you laughing, which can partially be attributed to Scanlon’s own comedy background. Overall, I would say that Set It Up is a fun and charming movie and a feel good romantic comedy that is worth checking out. As all of our movies this month, this one is streaming on Netflix, so you can give it a watch at your own leisure.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.