Netflix Original Film Set It Up offers the predictable norms of a romantic comedy but tackles the story of two young corporate climbers in a sweet and charming way.
I couldn’t tell if it was my earphones or my deteriorating ability to hear, but there is undoubtedly something off with the sound of Netflix’s Set It Up. The sound editing between scenes is noticeably off target, whereby you hear fluctuating changes in the air atmosphere when two characters are talking to each other and the shot changes. It is almost like they hired just an editor but forgot the importance of sound. It is all very fragmented.
[Update: since Set It Up has been officially released, I have enquired with other critics and it appears that in the official stream the sound issues are not there.]
The story, thankfully, does not feel like someone in a dark room aimlessly slicing scenes together. Set It Up summons the clockwork narrative of two millennials working harder than they play, pressured by the societal norms and working for bosses who frankly could not care less about them. Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell) serve their bosses rather than work, slaving around 24/7 trying to make sure their leaders are pleased in the hope it helps them climb the insurmountable corporate ladder. In Harper’s case, it is more that she wants to become a sports writer.
Of course, as you can tell by the title, Set It Up becomes prominent when the two overused, overworked assistants magically bump into each other and make the most elaborate plan to try and set their bosses up romantically. They both need a break so if their bosses are more concerned with each other they will be able to eat properly and ****. Personally, I would just quit, but apparently the current generation is so needy they would do absolutely anything to gain a career.
If you shut your eyes and close your ears, you could probably predict what happens in the second and final acts. Set It Up births a narrative that has been re-engineered in many films that you can smugly predict lines, or even the next scene. Putting that aside, the Netflix Original film is quite sweet, which is helped by Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell doing their utmost best with a run-of-a-mill script. Their chemistry, unfortunately, feels undesirable and the movie barely provokes the sparks, but watching the two jokingly set their bosses up in more bizarre ways each time is charming.
As usual with Netflix original content, it struggles to maintain a concept and in the case of Set It Up, it does become a tired piece of work. Once the novelty wears off you will be happy to see the already known conclusion. In the current industry where the bottom of the barrel scripts are commisioned by Netflix, the regurgitation of these tired concepts is hardly surprising but it will entertain you on a sleepy evening when you just want your brain to switch off. I realize my review will sound quite negative in parts but Set It Up is not bad at all despite the weird dips in sound between a change of shot, which in this day and age is unforgivable.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.