'Set it Up' Review: Ambitious Girl Falls in Love with White Bread

set it up netflix review

The internet has already dubbed Netflix’s rom-com Set it Up as “the movie of the summer.” But frankly, the film is average at best.

The cutesy movie relies on old, reliable rom-com tropes: girl and boy meet, end up falling for each other despite the odds.

The whole premise is a riff on The Parent Trap. Harper and Charlie decide to set up their cranky, impossible bosses in the hopes that it will finally give them a reprieve from the hell at work.

Set it Up is certainly entertaining enough. Despite its lack of any sort of originality, its good enough to finish.

But is “good enough” really worthy of deeming it the movie of the summer? No way.

You’d think a cast that includes Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs would be a slam dunk. But every character is just so… bland. The script fails to make good use of Lucy and Taye’s talents. You could easily substitute two no-name actors and the film would have been equally palatable.

But perhaps the worst part of all is Glen Powell’s character, Charlie. I don’t blame Glen on this one. It’s completely the script’s fault. Charlie is basically the epitome of average, white heterosexual male. He has no personality, no spark, nothing distinguishing.

This wouldn’t be such an issue if Harper didn’t have to fall in love with him.

And that brings me to my biggest criticism. The film is based around the idea that this ambitious, awesome young woman is supposed to fall in love with white bread. Do they honestly think that women are so desperate for love that they will settle for any sub-par dude that comes along? It’s insulting that they think Harper would even be interested in a guy like that. She could easily do way better if she just had a little confidence in herself.

Of course, the film couldn’t give Harper any confidence (in her writing, in her dating) because that would ruin the whole film. Because an ambitious and confident woman couldn’t possibly fall in love with an average chump. So, they ripped her of any self-confidence in the hopes of making the match at all believable.

Now if anyone is interested in making a film that brings together two talented, smart, badass people, well that’s a couple I would root for.

You can currently stream Set it Up on Netflix. But honestly, why bother?


Netflix’s ‘Dude’ Review: I Hate How Much I Like This Movie

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.