A bland romcom with wasted potential
With Valentines fast approaching, it’s that time of the year that a whole smattering of romcoms show up on various streaming platforms. It’s fair to say none will be able to touch the brilliance of flicks like Sleepless in Seattle or Notting Hill, but that’s not for the want of trying.
There have been various contenders over the years that have managed to deliver enthralling or original spins in the romcom genre, but Turkish movie Love Tactics is not one of them.
Love Tactics is not only bland and predictable, it’s also incredibly shallow and at its worst, undermines the character values of its lead female star, Asli. The gist of the movie sees a fashion designer/blogger Asli and a hotshot advertising executive called Kerem both believing they know everything about love.
Asli writes her own blog posts, detailing how predictable and awful some men are and instilling wisdom on circumnavigating these obvious clichés and striking out as strong, independent women.
Kerem meanwhile, is the typical player. He thinks he has women all figured out and knows exactly how to swoon anyone who crosses his path. So naturally, the pair make a bet with their respective friend circles, deciding to make the other fall in love with them.
If you’ve figured out where this is going, you’re absolutely right. There are a few tidbits about Kerem’s past sprinkled in here, and a couple of nice moments, but the second half of this movie completely falls apart.
I’m being careful not to go into spoiler territory here but suffice to say, Asli’s strong, confident persona completely falls apart in the presence of this big, strong man and the whole story turns into a tired, cliché-riddled ride.
It doesn’t help that Love Tactics makes no effort to develop its supporting characters either. There are a few teasing moments early on that Asli’s ditzy friend Cansu and Kerem’s colleague Tuna will end up in a sickly sweet romance but it never materializes. In fact, most of the supporting characters completely disappear until the obligatory airport chase at the end.
There’s an odd tone hanging over Love Tactics too, with several cliched scenes ripped right from other romcoms. There’s the pottery moment from Ghost, the first kiss in the rain and the aforementioned airport chase. None of these moments are used ironically though, everything here is played completely straight.
The only jokes that actually work, comes from Kerem’s bumbling confession that a horse kicked him in the groin, which is why he can’t have sex. There’s also a moment involving Cansu calling a tuna a bird, but beyond that there’s really not a lot else that’s outright funny.
Instead, these fleeting moments of humour are stifled in favour of an utterly predictable film that lacks any sense of originality or spin on the tried and tested tropes. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue but given how adamant this film is early on that its characters are strong and independent, the ending almost contradicts that.
With very few memorable jokes, paper-thin characters with wonky motivations and a tired, predictable tone, Love Tactics is unlikely to get much love on Netflix.
Verdict - 3/10