A Perfect Pairing (2022) review: Mildly entertaining yet extremely clichéd

Netflix’s A Perfect Pairing is a rom-com starring Victoria Justice and Adam Demos in the lead. The plot features Justice as an LA wine company executive who, after quitting her job, travels to Australia. Her aim is to make a deal with Vaughn Family Wines for her own brand-new wine distribution start-up.

Story

A Perfect Pairing opens by introducing us to the fierce and ambitious Lola Alvarez (Justice) who works as an executive for Mythos Wines in LA. After having a fallout at work with her boss however, she quits the job and decides to start her own wine distribution business named Salud Imports.

Her next step is to travel to Australia to make a deal with the famous Hazel Vaughn (Samantha Tolj) for the distribution of Vaughn Family Wines in America. 

Due to Hazel being on holiday for a month, Lola books an Airbnb cottage situated on the Vaughn sheep station to get close to her. She packs up and flies to the lush green property in Waratah.

There, she runs into Max (Demos) who is the sheep station’s handsome boss cocky. After an impromptu meeting with Hazel, Lola is dishearten as the former denies making a deal with a brand-new venture that hasn’t even been registered yet.

Incidentally, Max informs Hazel that the farm is short one worker as the latest hire bailed and Lola volunteers for the job. She aims to show her commitment to tasks in order to win Hazel over.

The decision is Max’s and he reluctantly agrees, training Lola win the ways of the station. Through the duration of the stay, Lola and Max get extremely close and bond over chores, sheep and inspirational quotes.

However, even though Lola is open about her past, Max houses an important secret that eventually comes out to endanger their romance.

Performances

Victoria Justice as Lola Alvarez is fun to watch. She doesn’t give out an award winning performance but if you’re a fan of her previous work, she lives up to it. She aces the fierce and ambitious American part of her character but leaves something to be desired in the romance section.

Adam Demos is a pleasant surprise in A Perfect Pairing. He creates a believable equilibrium between being likeable and friendly on the exterior while also presenting a certain mystery about Max. He does seem slightly wooden is a few scenes but makes up for it with his infectious charm.

The supporting cast features the likes of Samantha Tolj, Luca Asta Sardelis, Craig Horner, Lucy Durack, among others. Their presence in the film is a mere plot driver and nothing more. None of them are given enough material or screen time to really show-off their acting chops. It is a Justice and Demos show throughout.

Positives

One of the best things about A Perfect Pairing is the setting. The beautiful Australian landscape is breathtaking and the cinematography really does justice to it.

The plot has a really feel-good vibe to it despite its generic nature. The film is short with 101 minutes of runtime and paces itself well. Furthermore, it doesn’t try to preach anything via a romantic setting and sticks to the classic love story with a little twist.

Another enjoyable thing about the film is how it spends time showing off Australia and the intricacies of sheep farming using Lola’s learning curve at the station. Given that it is almost half of the film, it needed to be done well.

It is also quite fun to learn Aussie slang alongside Lola as she gets introduced to words that are rarely heard in other parts of the world.

Negatives

Unfortunately this is where the good hits a roadblock for A Perfect Pairing. The writing is stale, predictable and presents the same old love story that we’ve seen numerous times.

An ambitious character finding love where they least expect it after going though a bad breakup is something that has been seen in other Netflix projects as well. The slight set back before lovers unite is also an overused trope.

The secret about Max being related to Hazel does not come as a shock at all. In fact, it is hinted at so many times that the actual reveal gets no reaction whatsoever.

Furthermore, the romantic chemistry between the leading pair is severely lacking. Justice and Demos give off best friend vibes more than that of soon to be lovers. The character development somewhat gets lost behind farming adventures and landscape admiration.

It almost feels like the director wanted to pay more attention to Australia rather than the main characters. Also, the film confuses itself a lot.

The narrative pendulums between wine businesses and sheep farming with a love story blended somewhere in the middle. Moreover, the addition of the Vaughn family legacy and Max’s secret just makes it extremely convoluted for its short runtime.

Verdict

Despite its pitfalls, A Perfect Pairing is a fun one-time watch. If you have nothing serious in mind, this film is one of those that you can play and binge for a breezy time. However, do not expect a lot from it as it will eventually feel like you’ve seen the same film before.

Rating: 2/5


Also Read: A Perfect Pairing summary and ending explained