You might not be aware, but romantic comedies are not what they once were. What used to be a reliable genre that featured pretty people, and typically had at least a couple good releases a year, has became at best an occasional event. These movies tended to safely fall in the PG-13 realm but now are typically more of a raunch fest than a cute fest. Too each their own, but I certainly miss the days of romantic comedies I wasn’t embarrassed to watch with my mom.
But apparently Netflix is trying to revive the classic rom-com and and if Set it Up is any indication, they are off to a good start. The movie is the perfect date movie you don’t have to leave the house to go see. The leads have great chemistry, and the meet cute, which is what we rom-com lovers call the part where the two leads meet, feels fresh but still adorable.
The leads are two smart, poor twenty-something executive assistants working for powerful people in New York City. They try to set their bosses up on dates with each other in an attempt to make their lives less stressful and the typical romantic comedy deceptions, heartfelt monologues, and surprisingly romantic moments flow from there. The jokes are quick and there’s plenty of nods to the romantic comedy as a genre that make this movie the perfect flagship for Netflix’s so called “Summer of Love”. But here’s where I really sell the thing: My husband, who was very much saying “Ugh, I guess we’ll watch this if you feel you need too”, laughed as much as me and was recommending the movie to others the next day.
And therein lies the beauty of Set it Up and its many predecessors. When done right, they work for everyone, and consequently give spouses on a Tuesday or college kids on their first date something to connect over and laugh about together. Who doesn’t love that? So, thanks Netflix and long live the romantic comedy.
Rachel Strange is the pop culture columnist for the Claremore Progress.