The latest romantic comedy from HBO Max, Love Life, grabs every trope, cliche and stereotype from the genre and blends them together to produce this new anthology show. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, and as we’ve seen from countless other rom-coms, with the right set-up and angle it can actually work really well.
Unfortunately Love Life does not have that unique angle. Nor does it do anything particularly remarkable. So far at least, it feels very simple and archetypal in the way it portrays its material but does leave the door open for this to change in the future.
Episode 1 of Love Life begins with an introduction to our protagonist Darby Carter, a girl who grew up with two separate homes thanks to her Mum and Dad breaking up. From here, we jump to present day (2012) as Darby meets Augie Jeong at a karaoke bar. They immediately hit it off, singing a duet and inevitably sleeping together that night.
Following this encounter, Darby frets after failing to hear from Augie for 3 days and it leads her into a depression. Her friends Mallory and Sara sit together and advise against texting Augie as she needs to wait for him to message first. Eventually he does though – after the guide-book time of 3 days – and they go on another date. That date leads to hanging out and getting romantically involved, as she begins to fall in love with him.
However, all good things come to an end and Augie reveals he’s going to move away and focus on his career. She puts on a brave face though but can’t shake that their relationship is inevitably going to finish. Before he goes though, they both tell each other they love each other.
Although things don’t go to plan with Augie, Darby’s perfect partner is still out there and it will all happen for her in the future, as we’re told via narration. As the episode closes out we see a pregnant Darby in the future but with big question surrounding just who’s baby it is.
Love Life isn’t a bad show per-se and it certainly has some charm about it but it also feels like something ripped right from the 90’s and to be honest the archaic structure and tired cliches do the show no favours. The conversation about texting and the “rules” surrounding guys messaging first is the perfect example of this. However, the 30 minute episodes are a welcome inclusion and the narration is a nice touch that works well against the quirky, upbeat musical score.
As always, Anna Kendrick excels in this sort of role but her character is certainly not without its flaws. It’ll be interesting to see how she develops over time but for now, Love Life gets off to a pretty average start.
Published: 28 May 2020 at 7:54 am on