Film Pick of the Week: Set it Up - review by Yvette Huddleston

Set it UpNetflix, review by Yvette Huddleston

This New York-set romcom from Netflix is never going to reach the heights of gems such as When Harry Met Sally, Four Weddings and a Funeral or Bridget Jones’ Diary, but it is a perfectly serviceable modern example of the genre.

And it has a lot going for it. The script by Katie Silberman is smart and funny and director Claire Scanlon keeps the pace sprightly – also, it comes in well under two hours, which is a rarity these days. In addition, the two central performances are, crucially, entirely relatable and very likeable. Zoey Deutch plays would-be journalist Harper who is working as an assistant to respected sports reporter Kirsten (Lucy Liu). Kirsten is very high-maintenance and Harper barely has any time to herself, certainly not enough head space to actually get round to writing an article.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Meanwhile in the same Manhattan office building Charlie (Glen Powell) is running around after his recently divorced workaholic hedge fund boss Rick (Taye Diggs), not entirely convinced he is working in the area he wants to but happy to keep with it as the money is good, which impresses his on-off model girlfriend. The meet cute for Charlie and Harper is a late-night stand-off in the foyer of the office building, tussling over a takeaway meal that both are desperate to get for their respective bosses.

New York-set romcom Set It Up. Picture: NetflixNew York-set romcom Set It Up. Picture: Netflix
New York-set romcom Set It Up. Picture: Netflix

Realising that neither of them have a life outside work, they hatch a plan to set up their bosses Kirsten and Rick to fall in love with each other. They are pretty successful in this – they elicit the help of the building’s maintenance man to sabotage a lift so the pair get trapped in it and arrange for them to be seated next to each other at a Mets game. It all goes according to plan and there are no prizes for guessing that along the way Charlie and Harper begin to realise that maybe their own relationship could be something pretty special.

There are the usual bumps on the journey to a happy ending but that uplifting conclusion is never in doubt. It is quite old fashioned in that it barely acknowledges the 21st century reliance on dating apps in the pursuit of romance, but then that nostalgic feel is part of its charm. Its world is a place where nice things happen to good people and the selfish are not rewarded – and there’s nothing wrong with that.