Aug 4, 2019
It’s busy, busy, BUSY around here at One Movie Punch. We’re delivering seven days worth of new content this week, including a brand new critic for Takeover Tuesday covering a cult classic, our third interview episode with Laurence Fuller for Henry Quilici’s short “Echoes of You”, another Fantastic Fest review from Andrew Campbell, another review from One Movie Spouse, and more!
Last week, we had our first ever interview episode with David McCracken of Mr. Pictures for his debut feature, “Bullitt County”. The episode featured audio snippets from David McCracken about the film, but part one of the full interview is now available as our first Patreon exclusive, with part two to follow next week.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll be missing:
DAVID MCCRACKEN: “I came up with the general idea of the story, the buried Prohibition money, the Bourbon Trail, kind of thing, and then it was really just what kinds of characters would have the hardest time in a situation like that?”
If you want to hear the whole interview, just head over to patreon.com/onemoviepunch and sign up to contribute monthly at any level. All sponsors get access to exclusive content and will have the opportunity to force me to review one movie of their choice, as long as we haven’t reviewed it, with just a few exceptions. Upcoming content includes complete interviews with Laurence Fuller, Kyle D. Hester, and experimental segments like “One Movie Punch: Zero Percent”, where I’ll be reviewing a film which received the lowest possible score at Rotten Tomatoes. All contributions go to paying our expenses and growing with our audience.
Today’s classic review is for last year’s runaway hit on Netflix, “Set It Up”. I’ll admit it didn’t land well with me, but everyone else I know loved it. The film currently sits at a 91% Certified Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, slightly offset by a 62 at Metacritic. It also seemed like a nice pairing to yesterday’s review from One Movie Spouse for “Someone Great” (Episode #552).
Before the review, we have a promo for our friends at the Super Media Bros Podcast. Last time they were on the podcast was during the Big Heads Media Takeover, where they reviewed “Cloverfield” (Episode #519) and made off with all of our supplies at the One Movie Punch Secret Podcasting Island Base. Check out their recent bonus mailbag episode, where they answer audience questions on a variety of topics.
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Here we go!
[SUPER MEDIA BROS PROMO]
Today’s movie is “Set It Up” (2018), the Netflix Original romantic comedy written by Katie Silberman and directed by Claire Scanlon. The film follows Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell), two overworked assistants who try to set up their bosses Kirsten (Lucy Liu) and Rick (Taye Diggs). In the process, however, they begin to develop their own relationship, even as their matchmaking falls apart.
I used to hate romantic comedies, because they all seemed to follow the same structure. Two people meet each other under odd circumstances, then slowly begin to develop a relationship, either in spite of or because of the circumstances surrounding them, including the obligatory “will they or won’t they” sequence towards the end. As my taste in movies matured, however, I came to appreciate romantic comedies that told new stories within the same old structure, or at least hired comedy writers to punch up the comedy side, to set themselves apart from other romantic comedies. But if you are looking for a romcom that meets that standard, this film is definitely not it.
“Set It Up” is your average, middle of the road, faux high stakes romantic comedy that offers pretty much nothing new to the romantic comedy genre. In fact, it feels almost too much like every other romantic comedy, especially those between aspiring industry folks in New York City working underappreciated jobs. It is predictable by its own marketing, giving away the entire plot within the trailer, including some of the better jokes, which made me lose anticipation while watching it. And once the film used a slur making fun of the intellectually disabled, followed by the horrible bosses losing nothing and both assistants losing just about everything, I finally gave up on even trying to like it.
The cast is not to blame at all, however. Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell have pretty good chemistry on camera, navigating their developing relationship as well as the script allows for it. Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs play rather acerbic New York elites, acting childish in funny ways, but never really fleshing out as characters. Creepy Tim (Titus Burgess) and Duncan (Pete Davidson) are great supports, with fun roles. The direction followed a lot of the standard romantic comedy setups, using New York pretty well as its own character, but mostly through known landmarks overused in romantic comedies.
“Set It Up” (2018) is a romantic comedy with a great cast and decent direction, but working with a bad, sometimes cliché script. The film is good for a few laughs, and probably a few groans, but adds nothing to the genre. Fans of romantic comedies will probably enjoy this film, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t leave a lasting impression, at least not in a good way.