Star Rating:

A Perfect Pairing 12

Streaming On: Watch A Perfect Pairing on Netflix

Release Date: Thursday 19th May 2022

Running time: 100 minutes

The romantic comedy has been treading water for the last few years, but 'A Perfect Pairing' is a reminder that the genre can still deliver the goods.

'A Perfect Pairing' is a romantic comedy aimed squarely at the generation who watched 'Home and Away' and dreamed about running away to live a lush life down under.

Victoria Justice stars as an ambitious wine executive who travels to Australia to convince an up-and-coming wine maker to sign with her burgeoning brand.

Along the way, she meets a gruff local who doesn't tolerate her at first but the sparks begin to fly.

In all honesty, 'A Perfect Pairing' is predictable as films come, but that is strangely a point that works in its favour.

'A Perfect Pairing' has no pretensions towards being a Wong-Kar Wai or a Billy Wilder style masterpiece - it is unapologetically a love letter to the films of Nancy Meyers.

Unlike recent Netflix "comedy" 'Senior Year', this film knows that it is formulaic.

The script bounds along, with the character motivation established, set up, and the first act is under way within the first 20 minutes.

All the usual romantic comedy cliches are there - the bumbling American abroad, the person dedicated to their career but never found time to love, the rustic rural person who never left their comfort zone - and it all envelopes the viewer in a warm blanket.

Victoria Justice is a winning, charming lead, while Adam Demos' continues his line in playing the brooding Michael Hutchence type, and the pair have great chemistry together.

Strong chemistry between the leads is arguably the most important thing in any romantic comedy, and good chemistry can help paper over some of the cracks in the script.

There are one too many contrived coincidences in the script - one third act reveal is established just for the sake of creating conflict to be resolved at the end - and the film asks the viewer to ignore what we know about Australian labour law for the film to work.

However, considering how wine is a major thematic element of the film, the film is perhaps best enjoyed with a glass of one, and it isn't designed to stand up to snooty film criticism.

The film is perhaps most reminiscent of Netflix's surprise 2018 film 'Set It Up' which is an undeniably cheesy and cliched romcom on paper, but the chemistry of the two leads - as well as some decent writing - is enough to carry the film.

Netflix have caught a lot of flak recently for either overthinking or underselling their big shows and movies, so it is nice to be reminded they can still put out a no-frills, hassle-free romantic comedy to enjoy on a Friday night.

There is a refreshing lack of pretension with 'A Perfect Pairing' and it isn't trying to be a grand, swooping romantic epic like 'Chungking Express' or 'Gone With The Wind', it's simply a film about a gal who is down on her luck trying to secure her big career break.

The gal meets a handsome guy along the way, they initially don't trust each other, they develop a kinship, there's a big revelation, they fight, and reconcile for the happy ending.

It is easy to write the film off as a Hallmark film with a slightly bigger budget but the chemistry between the two leads elevates the film to "actually pretty good."

Victoria Justice and Adam Demos have sparkling chemistry

The film could be watched on mute and you'd still get the gist of what is going on, which is a testament to the directing and acting.

As stated at the start, 'A Perfect Pairing' exists in the same bubble of daydream fantasy as watching 'Home and Away' or 'Neighbours' and wanting to be whisked away down under for some adventures.

'A Perfect Pairing' plays on our conception of Australia from culture and uses it to spin a winning, and charming tale.

Will this film be bothering the Oscars next February? Absoltuely no chance in hell.

But that isn't a bad thing.

It's a simple, unpretentious treat almost chemically engineered to make you say "that's nice."

We would use a wine metaphor to cap off the review but we have respect for our audience.