Everything you’d imagine it to be based on the premise, The Hook Up Plan is a serviceable French romantic comedy that holds few surprises.
Imagine everything you would expect to see in a romantic comedy about a woman who can’t get over her ex and whose friends set her up with a male escort without telling her. Now imagine those things in French. And voila, you have The Hook Up Plan, a perfectly serviceable (if totally unsurprising) Netflix Original series that arrived on the platform today.
Zita Hanrot plays Elsa, an off-the-rails young-ish woman who keeps getting blotto drunk, sending inappropriate text messages to the wrong people, and crashing on her father’s office couch. See, she can’t get over her ex. So, to help out, her friends hire a dreamy male escort to help her move on – which works, but perhaps a little too well.
Stop me if any of this sounds familiar: a romance built on false pretences; strained loyalties; discussions about what’s best for a friend and what’s best for friendship, and how those aren’t always the same things; a disastrous birthday; romance that seems logical rather than romance that feels right; and so on, and so forth. The Hook Up Plan has all of these things and more in its breezy eight-episode first season, though very few surprises.
Still, part of hitting all the expected genre beats is also hitting all the things that people love about the genre, so on that note The Hook Up Plan is decently amusing, with most of the gags and scenarios translating well for an international audience, and Hanrot is charming and likeable in the lead role – two words that typically don’t apply to the French, but I digress. It’ll probably attract an audience and that same audience will probably enjoy it, pleasantly nodding along as it ticks the expected boxes and passes by inoffensively. It isn’t challenging or provocative entertainment, but nobody wants that all the time, do they?
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.