2.5 out of 5 stars
There seems to be a polarisation within the world of romantic comedies. This modern world has caused writers to deliver screenplays that are either the sexploits of the rich and famous or an overly sanitised dream world. Which leaves audiences with little choice when it comes to enjoying a date night out or snuggling up on the lounge for the latest offering on your favourite streaming service. Then to have a film like Love, Guaranteed drop on Netflix with little fanfare may cause many to pause to consider at what end of the spectrum this film sits.
At the heart of the story is the compassionate and hardworking lawyer, Susan Whitaker (Rachael Leigh Cook). An attorney who continually takes on all of the hard-luck and pro-bono cases that come her way, which means that her law firm continues to struggle to pay the bills. Despite this tenuous financial situation, Susan is skeptical to take on a case that involves suing one of the most successful dating sites in the world. Nick Evans (Damon Wayans Jr.) has the means to pay for the suit and he has established the precedent to sue the website and its socialite owner, Tamara Taylor (Heather Grahame).
Love, Guaranteed has a stipulation that it promises that anyone who utilises their services will find love, even if it takes 1000 dates. As Nick approaches this formidable number, he has not found love and hopes to hold the organisation to account. Even though Susan feels that the suit is laden with moral ambiguity, she decides to take on the case. As a means of understanding this web-based community, the young lawyer decides to join the dating service and begins to learn more about the purpose behind the claim. Susan eventually discovers that there is something to this case and that she has come to terms with her feelings for Nick.
For those keeping track, the latest release from Netflix does seem to head down the slippery slope towards the syrupy sweet sanitised world. Yet, certain elements do bring this production back into the realm of a reputable date night. Even though it does involve the familiar heart-of-gold lawyer with a client that seems to have limitless funds, the central characters make this work. Wayans and Cook manage to deliver the comedy and provide believable chemistry that will keep people engaged until the credits. No small feat since the script does not have the couple get anywhere near a bed throughout the filming.
For the rom-com fans of the world, this movie goes straight into the ‘Hallmark’ category, but with better writing and reputable performances from the lead actors. If audiences are looking for sex and profanity as a means of providing reality, this is not the film for you. Love, Guaranteed is a project that proves that romances can be built on strong characters and clever comedic writing. Not that this screenplay will win any awards, but it is a refreshing option for those who are looking for a laugh, a hint of romance and a world where people have the potential to fall in love.
REEL DIALOGUE: The God of the Bible is a ‘hopeful’ romantic
When it comes to romance, the God of the Bible does not usually come to mind as a purveyor of love. Most people inside and outside the Christian faith may think that discovering real romance can occur outside the Bible. It is an unfortunate misconception because as the Creator and God of love, it can be said that romance was his idea, too.
Romance: love, esp romantic love idealised for its purity or beauty
From the original creation account to the wisdom literature of the Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Solomon, the word pictures and phrases make for an atmosphere for romance. Like any relationship, God does set parameters for this love connection, but within this playground, the Creator of romance allows for beautiful atmosphere for love.
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Proverbs 5:18-19
(Yes, that is in the Bible... a verse for romantic, married couples)