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Film Review: Love, Guaranteed

4 September 20 words: Katie Green

A hapless single man takes an online dating website to court in Netflix’s latest rom-com...

Director: Mark Steven Johnson
Starring: Rachael Leigh Cook, Damon Wayans Jr., Heather Graham
Running time: 90 minutes

We start off with empowerment. Lawyer Susan (Rachael Leigh Cook) is delivering an uplifting speech before she enters the courtroom. However, it turns out she was giving herself the speech in the ladies bathroom. Next, we are in court, and Susan is doing what she does best: fighting for the innocent. After a long day at work, Susan returns home – living next to her sister and her family – but it turns out she lives alone.

The next day, Susan gears up for work as usual and whilst getting her usual coffee, she bumps into a stranger named Nick, who starts chatting and walking with her. It turns out Nick is Susan’s 9am and he wants her to represent him. After going on 986 dates (yes 986!) through the dating agency “Love, Guaranteed”, he wants to sue them for not living up to the promise in their name. Along the way, Susan finds out the realities of dating online, as well as discovering something new with Nick alongside the case.

A standout positive to this Netflix film is clearly the cast. Both Rachael Leigh Cook and Damon Wayans Jr will be familiar to audiences through their past roles, as Rachael starred in the 1999 film She’s All That and Damon appeared in the 2014 comedy Let’s Be Cops. Despite these two not being cast in anything together in the past, their chemistry is undeniable on screen; both not only bring a comedic performance, but also a more meaningful and loving performance between the two. In scenes where their relationship begins to grow, this is apparent through something as simple as their facial expressions towards each other.

The chemistry between the main characters makes up for the film’s predictability

What this film also does well is fitting the background music to the situation on screen. For example, when Susan is sitting alone in her home near the start, the sad music accompanies the woeful scenes as Susan peers out her window, helping us to relate to the characters and their situations in our own reality. Online dating is a common occurrence in the 21st century – 15 million singles are registered to online dating in the UK – so many people watching can relate to both Nick and Susan’s situations.

Where the film falls short is its predictable storyline: it’s your typical rom-com plot. Boy meets girl, girl and boy don’t like each other to start with, boy and girl grow fonder of each other, a disruption happens and boom! Happy ending. Yet, the film’s predictability doesn’t make it less enjoyable to watch. The chemistry between the main characters alongside the comedy makes up for all of this. Then again, I may just be saying this because I’m a true romantic at heart…

Did you know? Rachael Leigh Cook produced the film herself and said the plot was inspired by a lawsuit that she heard was filed against Coors Light for not being brewed with pure Rocky Mountain spring water, as well as her own experience with online dating.

Love, Guaranteed is available now on Netflix

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