In a time of sexts, Tinder, and Snapchat, Netflix’s new romantic comedy, “Love,” explores whether we need to try so hard to fall in love at all.
From executive producer Judd Apatow (HBO’s “Girls,” “Knocked Up,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), “Love” (available Friday) follows Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust, also an executive producer) at the end of their respective messed-up relationships and into a potentially new one with each other.
But Mickey and Gus probably wouldn’t meet on social media. She’s a punky chick with an addictive personality, who produces a radio show. He’s a geeky people-pleaser, on-set teacher to a young TV star (played by Apatow’s daughter, Iris), and wannabe TV writer. As they carry out their lives in different orbits in the city of Los Angeles — with its socially-limiting car culture — it feels like forever (or about two-thirds of the premiere episode, which is forever) before they meet.
Once they do meet, there are no real fireworks. A hungover Mickey is at a gas-station convenience store when she realises that she doesn’t have enough money for coffee and cigarettes. A freshly dumped Gus is behind her in line, just wants to get out of there, and offers to pay for her stuff. There’s a glimmer of a sense that Gus is attracted to her, because, duh, Mickey is beautiful. But the sparks aren’t flying for Mickey (yet). But soon, she becomes a bit annoying even to Gus as she insists on him following her back to her place so she can pay him back.
If at this point, you don’t see them coupling up, that’s ok. Neither do they. But just like them, you’ll miss out if you walk away now.
From this point on, it’s anyone’s guess if they actually become a couple. And that’s part of the fun. Ahead, they will go on a messed-up car ride; Mickey will meet Gus’s ex-girlfriend; he will meet her kooky, scene-stealing new roommate, Bertie (Claudia O’Doherty); Gus will make enemies all over some party with Mickey’s friends; and they will both get really, really high one day.
The acting is fairly good by both the leads. Though Jacobs has girl-next-door looks, there always seems to be a rebel underneath her skin. Rust is a pretty natural fit for Gus — a side effect of being a show EP and writer.
“Love” isn’t about quick hookups, or having the ability to swipe someone left out of your world. If they’re going to have any type of relationship, Mickey and Gus will earn it every step of the way in the series’ almost real-time feel. They will have to actually get to know each other to the point where they don’t want to be without each other.
So if you don’t walk away, I’m willing to bet that you’ll get hooked and will thank the entertainment gods that all the episodes are available to binge-watch right now.
Watch the “Love” trailer below:
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