A pair of overworked Manhattan executive assistants conspire to play Cupid for their respective abusive bosses in the Netflix original “Set it Up,” the sort of strained, protracted romantic-comedy that gives the genre a bad rap.
Logging late hours is business as usual for harried Harper (Zoey Deutch), who’s constantly at the beck and call of her self-absorbed boss, Kirsten (Lucy Liu), a powerful sports journalist who heads up her own media company.
Likewise for glib Charlie (Glen Powell), who works for aggressively egotistical investment exec Rick (Taye Diggs) in the same office building and is convinced by Harper that fixing up the two Type A personalities might free up their put-upon employees to focus on their own personal lives.
Naturally, you don’t need to be well-versed in rom-coms to know that, in the process, Harper and Charlie will ultimately fall into each other’s arms, but getting there proves to be a slog courtesy of screenwriter Katie Silberman’s talky, sitcom-ready dialogue and director Claire Scanlon’s ponderously uneven pacing.
Worse, it’s no small feat to squander the proven charms of a Diggs or Deutch, but they, along with the rest of the players appear to have been encouraged to scurry around acting like cartoon versions of themselves, to less than amusing affect.
By the point at which Harper and Charlie finally acknowledge their own preordained merger, you’ll feel like you’ve put in double overtime.
‘Set it Up’
Running time: 1 hour, 41 minutes
Playing: June 15, streaming on Netflix