The trailer of the new Netflix film Love Guaranteed directed by Mark Steven Johnson has exposed the whole plot of the film. Thus, there isn’t any space for surprises here if you are the kind of person who watches a film after watching the trailer. In my last review for the movie All Together Now I had mentioned my opinion on structurally familiar films and I had said that to tackle that issue of familiarity you need conflicts that are interesting. Love Guaranteed actually had a peculiar premise, but the conflict wasn’t unfamiliar.
Susan Whitaker is a lawyer who has all the good intentions. She doesn’t charge from those who have financial difficulties and hence running the office that has two assistants wasn’t an easy thing for her. One day she gets this peculiar client named Nick Evans who wanted to file a lawsuit against a dating website named Love Guaranteed. His claim was that he has dated over 1000 people through the website and yet he couldn’t find love which the company guaranteed. The development that happens over the course of this case is what the movie showing us.
As I said in the beginning because they have exposed the whole story in the trailer itself we are not actually looking for the movie to surprise us. It’s more like waiting for the movie to reach that juncture you were imagining it to reach. It’s your standard boy meets girl rom-com formula. When Nick tells Susan that it was the best date he had in a long time after meeting 1000 other individuals, there isn’t any charm there in their chemistry to make us buy that. Susan’s car is an old one with a broken door handle which pretty much symbolizes her life. And these are the kind of treatment we have seen a zillion time in movies.
Mark Steven Johnson is trying to pitch it as that warm love story. But his writers aren’t really offering him any unique material other than the basic idea of an individual suing a big company. There is a sequence in the movie where both of them go to the head office of Love Guaranteed for a settlement and after the meeting, Susan thanks Nick for standing up for her, and the issue is that the scene never felt like that “standing for someone” scenario. And when the BGM sort of kicks in with the characters high fiving each other, I was like “was it that big a deal?” With those quirky assistants of Susan, the movie somewhere felt like an attempt to create the “Notting Hill” like romance, but it never managed to attain that charm.
Rachel Leigh Cook as Susan Whitaker in those courtroom scenes was performing in an overly dramatic fashion and even her portrayal of the single Susan felt like a performance. Damon Wayans Jr. as Nick Evans has that one cool dude expression throughout and to be honest, we don’t really see any sparkling chemistry between the two. If they wanted us to believe that a guy fell in love with his lawyer after dating a thousand women, the chemistry should have been extremely pleasing and sadly that wasn’t there in Love Guaranteed.
Just like All Together Now, this is also a movie that never really annoys you, but doesn’t have anything substantially good to make you think about the story or the characters. The unique premise of Love, Guaranteed had some potential, but it wasn’t used effectively here to create a unique movie.
The unique premise of Love, Guaranteed had some potential, but it wasn’t used effectively here to create a unique movie.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended