"Romantic Happiness Takes Some Assistance"
A romantic comedy from Netflix, SET IT UP follows Harper and Charlie, hopeful twentysomething business assistants striving to work their way up the professional ladder in New York City. When Harper bumps into Charlie in the building where they work, Harper realizes they share a mutual desire to reduce their workload. So, they decide to set up their bosses romantically in hopes that they will date and, as a result, lighten their workload.
SET IT UP is similar to THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA in that Harper and Charlie are evidently under heavy professional strain that cuts down their personal time. Through many orchestrated run-ins and under the table planning, Harper and Charlie succeed in altering their bosses’ schedules so that they begin a romantic relationship.
Meanwhile, Harper struggles with her own personal happiness when her best friend, Becca, becomes engaged and appears to be living the dream Harper wants for herself. Likewise, Charlie struggles to have a meaningful romantic relationship with his 23-year-old model girlfriend, who’s rather self-centered. It seems that both Harper and Charlie have difficulty with their expectations for their lives.
In one morally redeeming scene, Harper’s friend, Becca, gives a pleasant engagement speech where she says, “You like because you love despite.” This moment gives Harper and Charlie reason to re-evaluate their own romantic endeavors.
To Harper and Charlie’s excitement, Rick and Kristen reveal that, although they have had a brief courtship, they have decided to marry within the following weeks. Despite this news, Harper learns Rick is still hung-up on his ex-wife and has confessed that to Kirsten before the wedding nuptials can occur. This scene in the movie is one of a few that displays moral integrity because Harper tells Charlie, “I’m telling Kristen the whole truth.” Conflicted for a moment on what the right move is, Charlie quits his toxic job with Rick and breaks up with his girlfriend in hopes of starting anew. Eventually, he and Harper realize that, while they were trying to set up their two bosses, they were falling for one another themselves.
The cinematography by Matthew Clark is well done, making the movie’s quality clear and free of any major editing distractions that could sway the audience’s opinion of the story. The costuming is appropriate for the characters in SET IT UP, which takes place in the corporate realm where the men wear fancy suits and the women bring a whole meaning to “dressy” casual attire.
Although SET IT UP’s ending brings clarity to the characters’ motivations, the movie’s pleasant outcome comes at the expense of corrupted morals and the gratuitous strain and anxiety that the characters undergo, which doesn’t add much of anything to the story. There are brief moments of sweetness in the movie as Charlie and Harper bond as friends. However, these positive moments pale in comparison to the movie’s heavy foul language and underlying immoral behavior, which includes greed, deception, pride, and a homosexual roommate. SET IT UP is extremely inappropriate for younger audiences, and adult viewers will find to be very excessive.
SET IT UP is a romantic comedy on Netflix about two hopeful business assistants, Harper and Charlie, who try to achieve their professional dreams despite their heavy workloads. They decide to reduce their workloads by secretly starting a romance between their two demanding bosses, Rick and Kirsten. Meanwhile, Harper struggles with her happiness when her best friend becomes engaged and appears to be living the dream Harper wants for herself. Likewise, Charlie struggles to have a meaningful romantic relationship with his self-centered girlfriend.
SET IT UP showcases determination for achieving one’s dreams and happiness, but places too much stock in greed and deception to achieve these. Rick struggles with pride and cheating while both Rick and Kirsten struggle with puffing themselves up to promote a successful image. Sadly, some sexual allusions and comments play a heavy role in trying to get audiences to laugh or relate. Some of the laughs involve a homosexual roommate of Charles. Despite heavy foul language, SET IT UP offers hints of moral conduct in final minutes, but its story relies too heavily on excessive immoral and often perverse behavior.