The Hollywood romantic comedy is pretty much dead box office wise. However, at Netflix it is enjoying a revival. Middling rom-coms, teen comedies and sci-fis are part of their essential strategy to make every night a Netflix and chill one. In an odd bit of corporate synergy, Netflix original movies are even starting to reference each other.
Set It Up, is probably Netflix’s most self aware romantic comedy ever. The story involves two over worked office assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) romantically setting up their two horrible bosses (Taye Diggs matched with his confessed “hall pass” choice of Lucy Liu) so that the two underlings can get some personal life time. They utilize and actually self-reference all the rom-com cliches in their scheming: the meet cute moment (at Yankee Stadium), the long weekend retreat (in Nantucket), the breakup to makeup- you know the rest. The two even cutely argue wether their conniving is all Cyrano or Parent Trap.
The anti-romance allows first time feature director Claire Scanlon (a tv veteran of such smartly aware comedies as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Incredible KimmySchmidt and Fresh Off the Boat) to hide the actual romance in a way that is both meta and an Easter egg.
Set It Up is so smart that it almost attains singularity, just not enough for the average Netflix viewer to be unchill with it.