As far as feature films are concerned, contrary to some claims, the romantic comedy isn’t dead: it just keeps going on repeat.
The new Netflix picture, “A Perfect Pairing,” shares (most of) a title with a Hallmark movie that premiered earlier this year. The Hallmark picture used the reliable plot “the woman is brought back to life and love through amnesia and a magical place”. Directed by Stuart McDonald, this photo is more in the not-horribly-other “citified go-getter falls under a magical place and the hunk that hangs out there” mode.
This is where Victoria plays Justice Lola, who works for a grubby wine importer from Los Angeles. After a bill is stolen from under her by a corny colleague, she lights it herself. Her first project is to get the rights to a fantastic Australian wine by beating a female vintner at her winery and B&B.
The trek doesn’t quite go as planned, and Lola takes a job as a jackeroo – the term is explained – at the winery’s nearby sheep farm.
Perky to the point that she appears to be seriously over-caffeinated, Lola often finishes her chores – “What the herd!” she exclaims as some sheep get lost. The ranch manager, Max (Adam Demos), is the obligatory love interest, keeping a secret that most viewers will guess before Lola knows about it.
While many Hallmark movies are largely locked up in Toronto and the rest of Ontario, “A Perfect Pairing” can be found fairly in the beauty of Australia’s vineyards. Even the more nose-holding aspects of sheep farming are rendered visually appealing in some way.
It’s all so anodyne that the too-mandated girl-gets-angry-hunk plot flips before the love-conquering-all finale feels like she’s being shaken awake during a dream of drowning in butterscotch sunsets.
A perfect pairing
Not judged. Running time: 1 hour 41 minutes. Watch on Netflix.