They say there’s a fine line between love and hate, and that’s certainly the case for fellow competitive Lucy (Lucy Hale) and Joshua (Austin Stowell). Forced to share a workspace in the publishing house where they work, the two engage in a fierce battle to land a big promotion. As their war on each other escalates, the two struggle to hide their true feelings for each other and cross a boundary that completely changes everything. Can they separate the professional and the personal?
“The Hating Game” is a charming romantic comedy based on the book by Sally Thorne. Originally released in the UK on Prime Video, the film is another sign that the rom-com genre is in the midst of a resurgence joining recent movies like Jennifer Lopez and Charlie Day’s ‘Marry Me’ and ‘I Want You’. by Jenny Slate. Return’. Effortlessly watchable, yet utterly predictable, the film embraces rom-com tropes but is enhanced by its zippy charm.
It’s clear from the start that Lucy and Joshua are going to fall for each other, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to watch. The characters go through the necessary stages to get to the point where their attraction is undeniable. They try to sabotage each other, vent each other’s anger and frustrations, and bicker like schoolboys. This, of course, masks the fact that they are attracted to each other and are desperately trying not to prove each other’s suspicions correct.
Actors Lucy Hale (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Austin Stowell (“Swallow”) previously starred together in the horror reboot “Fantasy Island,” and here their chemistry shines again. They’re obviously comfortable acting across from each other and it really helps you believe their characters. Both have a knack for comedy, and their flirtatious and romantic scenes are off the charts. It’s really their performances that carry the film, and it’s through their chemistry that one can follow suit and simply enjoy the plot as it unfolds.
“The Hating Game” doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t have to. The rom-com has been on life support for years, falling out of favor as it was deemed unfashionable, and it’s long overdue to return. While this movie may never bother your best movies of all time, it’s the one you can put on when you want something easy, entertaining, and heartwarming to watch. Not everything in life has to be high art, and when the lead performances are that strong, you can ignore the film’s flaws and just enjoy them.
Cast: Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Damon Daunno, Sakina Jaffrey Director: Peter Hutchins Writers: Christina Mengert (screenplay), Sally Thorne (novel) Certificate: 15 Duration: 102 minutes Produced by: Exclusive entertainment Release date: 15e August 2022