Hold on tight, we’re headed down under with Netflix’s latest rom-com release A perfect pairing.
Wine sales manager Lola Alvarez ends up working on an Australian sheep farm to land a big new client, but also ends up arousing the passions of a gruff and mysterious local, Max.
Yes, it has everything you could want from an escapist rom-com: a dreamy, almost seemingly unreal job (tag out! for work!), gorgeous scenery (featuring some deadly snakes), and some seriously good eye candy: Victoria’s Justice (Victorious, fun size) as Lola and sexuality/life Star Adam Demos as Max
The film wastes no time establishing its genre-given tropes, and establishes Lola as an Instagram-worthy “boss” who still has some struggles of her own to deal with (divorce, of course).
While it’s not the most groundbreaking film of all (and who says it has to be?), A perfect pairing manages to avoid some problematic tropes that still pollute even the best rom-coms.
There’s an explicitly queer character who’s just a normal human being, with no trauma tonnage, no tragic subplot (what a concept!), and no “funny chubby friend” to double as a comedic punching bag.
We’ve seen plenty of fish-out-of-water rom-coms. Unlikely people in unlikely places who have to adapt and overcome challenges and fall in love in the process. what does A perfect pairing Feeling a little fresher than most is the sheer energy of its lead.
Justice jumps through each scene in a way that might feel forced, but her seriousness about delivering even the cheesiest lines instead brings you into her world and buys her as a real, if slightly over-the-top, person. She might be exhausting to be friends with — and you’d surely get bored with her Instragrammy one-liners (which, yes, include the phrase girl boss) — but there’s no denying that she’d never slow you down.
This boundless energy makes up for Max’s gross reserve, and A perfect pairing also avoids the expected antagonism between the two. Rather than dismissing, belittling, and rolling his eyes at Max, he’s patiently calm and mostly helpful, if a bit sarcastic at times.
Of course, there’s always a catch with movies like this – and with men like this A perfect pairing plays out the inevitable revelation far more dramatically than it is. (We won’t spoil it for you, but it’s safe to say it’s an easily forgivable transgression, especially in the capitalist hell we call modern society).
All rom-coms like this require a vigorous disbelief – imagine a world where a woman can boast of the biggest career leap of her life, where there are no labor laws and visa requirements, where dreams really do come true.
A perfect pairing feels at least rooted in some recognizable reality; Lola is not a famous writer who buys a castle in Scotland, or a baker who happens to resemble a princess.
What the film does best is not to overly emotionally weigh its flimsy script. It doesn’t address the big issues that other films try and fail to address. You may think “this is stupid” or “this is impossible”, but in the end A perfect pairing knows exactly what it is – cheesy, escapist fantasy that moves in the blink of an eye – and in that respect it delivers.
A perfect pairing is now available to watch on Netflix.
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