Thursday, May 19, 2022

A Perfect Pairing: Movie Review

Slow and cheesy.
A Perfect Pairing – first off, that title, is it ever cheesy. It took me awhile just to get over the fact that I was going to press play on a title so punny that it loops back around to witless. But you are getting what you expect: a romantic comedy centered around the wine industry. As is true for pretty much all Netflix rom-coms, the American heroine must fly across the world to find a suitable mate.   2022

Directed by: Stuart McDonald

Screenplay by: Hilary Galanoy, Elizabeth Hackett

Starring: Victoria Justice, Adam Demos

The movie is a pairing of two disparate halves. The first half is very slow, a full hour with establishing lead characters, creating the setting and with more jokes that land with a thud or a question mark than actually make you laugh. I’ll give you an example, “Nobody is going to steal your bag, we’re 2,000 kilometres away from the nearest anything.” Umm? No you’re not. First off, she took a cab from the airport. Second, you’re near Waratah in New South Wales, so probably like 200 kilometres from Sydney at most. It's an exaggeration not even near plausible.

Victoria Justice stars as Lola. A heroine not unlike most rom-com girls that have come before her – she’s beautiful, single, hard-working, and with an adoring family, but decides to make a change in her life. She quits her job, starts her own wine importing company and flies to Australia to land a new wine label. Instead, she meets Max (Adam Demos) who becomes her new boss on a sheep farm as she attempts to impress the head of the wine family label.

A Perfect Pairing. (L to R) Adam Demos as Max, Victoria Justice as Lola
in A Perfect Pairing. Cr. Vince Valitutti, Netflix ©
The first half is painfully slow. The farming lifestyle is nice and serene but the movie is filled with so many little scenes that add up to nothing. There is, however, an exact moment in the movie where everything turns on a dime. Lola is off partying, finally some moments that can provide actual laughs even if it’s only a little funny, meanwhile Max and Hazel have a scene together and the audience is let in on a secret – Max’s backstory, which actually provides some interesting context to his burgeoning relationship with Lola. The movie moves much faster at that point, relationships develop and collapse, the plot’s time-line is hurried up, and now we’re actually heading somewhere. The ending is exactly what you’re expecting, but at least we get there.

A Perfect Pairing is very slow. The leads are attractive enough to keep the film going, and the second half finally offers laughs and story and romance, but the ending is as cheesy as the title is – very.

Similar Titles:

  The Perfect Family - Universal themes, well crafted characters.

  Single All the Way - Funny and sweet.

  Backpackers - Come for the romance, stay for the scenery and then go look up trips to Peru.

  Falling Inn Love - Cheap ploys, nice romance.