A Perfect Pairing
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
To win over a major client, a go-getter LA wine exec signs on to work at an Australian sheep farm, where she spark with a rugged and mysterious local.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
A Perfect Pairing is just that – a palatable Hallmark rom-com that goes perfectly well with a Friday night snuggled on the couch with a glass of wine.
If Hallmark isn't your vibe, then it's one of those movies you'll either come across when looking under the 'More Like This' tab of your favourite rom-com and decide to watch because 'What the hell' or one that you'd be perfectly fine not watching because there is something that's always just going to be better.
Nevertheless, the Netflix flick sees two actors who are quickly becoming streamer regulars in the genre return to tell the story about hard-driving LA wine-company executive Lola (Victoria Justice), who travels to Australia to land a major news client. Upon her arrival, she fills in as a ranch hand at the sheep station, and surprise ignites a spark with rugged local Max (Adam Demos).
Director Stuart McDonald wastes no time establishing the film's genre-given tropes – Lola is an Instagram-worthy boss babe who has some struggles of her own to deal with, even though we never delve deeper into them. Max is, well, the eye candy. He has a little more substance to him, which is quite refreshing, although don't expect to be gobsmacked by the 'twist' that comes near the end.
What I will say, however, is that the movie does manage to avoid some problematic tropes that still litter even the best rom coms: There is one explicitly queer character who doesn't have a tragic subplot, and there is no 'funny, chubby friend' to serve as the comedic punching bag.
Similarly to her role in Afterlife of the Party, Justice brings all the incessant perkiness of her sitcom roots to Lola. This may be a trait of hers, but it became increasingly annoying throughout this movie. She overacts everything, and I mean everything. Had she toned down every trip, fall and reaction to another clumsy act while working as a ranch hand just a little, the story would have been much more enjoyable to watch.
I didn't watch the entire season of Sex/Life, but I can't unsee Demos in his role from the little that I did watch – which made it slightly difficult to focus on him as Max. That said, it was as though he walked off the set of Falling Inn Love with Christina Milian and onto the set of A Perfect Pairing. As I mentioned before, though, Max does have a little more depth in terms of back story and serious scenes, and his chemistry with Justice is convincing enough for me to believe that fairy tales exist.
And although the couple ends up together in the end, this is not a spoiler; we all know how these films end. I was pretty annoyed by it. Lola is so convincing as this boss babe who starts her own company and is on the path to success, and then she just moves to a totally different country for a man. Ugh, I guess one problematic plot somehow had to find its way in there.
A Perfect Pairing has everything you want in an escapist rom-com: A dreamy, almost seemingly unreal job (day drinking for work!), a beautiful landscape (the Australian outback may be full of deadly animals, but it sure is beautiful), and some seriously good eye-candy.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: