Review: ‘Dorfman in Love’s’ L.A. makeover tale goes downtown

Review: ‘Dorfman in Love’s’ L.A. makeover tale goes downtown

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Valley girl Dorfman (Sara Rue), a never-been-kissed accountant, pines over Jay (Johann Urb), a globe-trotting narcissist in this old-fashioned makeover movie set in Los Angeles’ newly hipsterized downtown. When Jay accepts a weeklong assignment in Afghanistan, Dorfman squeals at the chance to house-sit his brand new loft. And unpack and decorate. And commute daily from the warehouse district to Encino.


Everyone knows a Dorfman — a people-pleasing victim — and Brad Leong’s comedy has some nicely miserable character beats watching Dorfman cower before her crush, her sleazebag brother (Jonathan Chase), his secretary (Kelen Coleman), and pretty much anyone who notices her existence long enough to demand a favor. We’re relieved when she instead starts obeying the commands of Jay’s neighbors: two hotties (Hayley Marie Norman and Aussie pop star Sophie Monk) and a playboy who pretends to be gay (Haaz Sleiman).

The women give her a haircut, the gentleman gives her confidence, and screenwriter Wendy Kout’s semi-autobiographical sitcom-like script bops along being inoffensive to everyone besides the homeless living on L.A.'s skid row, whom Dorfman shies away from like they’re soul-sucking dybbuks, even offering a stranger $5 to walk her to the subway. (At least by the end, she’s emboldened enough to give one homeless person a hand-woven scarf.) As Dorfman’s widowed father, Elliott Gould narrowly escapes with his dignity intact, despite a rant about a “Jesus freak” and a gay contestant on “American Idol.”



“Dorfman in Love.”

MPAA rating: PG-13 for sexual content, language and brief drug use.

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.


In limited release. Also day-and-date on DirecTV.

(For the record: 5:06 p.m. March 21: A previous version of this post gave the MPAA rating as R.)


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