Christmas Matchmakers

Jon (Andrew Rogers) and Jen (Anna Marie Dobbins) are two harried assistants who bump into each other in their building’s cafeteria fetching coffee for their respective bosses. Although the coffee is expected imminently, they stop to bitch about how overworked they are, how demanding their bosses are. The next time they exchange coffee (not a euphemism), they hatch a plot to set their bosses up without them knowing…because if they’re in love they’ll somehow work less. Which may have some merit but is seriously creepy and crosses great-wall-shaped boundaries. But the scary thing is: it works. Kate (Vivica A. Fox) and Owen (Dorian Gregory) are two type-A workaholics who just get each other.

If this is sounding a bit familiar, well, it should. It is the EXACT same story as the Netflix original Set It Up. Exact same, except this one is set around Christmas. And of course the fact that everyone involved in Set It Up is galaxies more charming and competent than the people here. I’m normally quite skeptical of celebrity offspring, and I was wary of Zoey Deutch (daughter of Lea Thompson), but she keeps surprising me. She was luminescent in Set It Up but has shown a lot of range since then. The movie also stars Glen Powell as the other assistant, and Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs as the two bosses. If you’re in the mood for a rom-com, watch Set It Up instead. If you want to make it feel Christmassy, stick a candy cane in a mug of cocoa and put on a second pair of socks. Ta-da: Christmas!

I don’t think the actors in Christmas Matchmakers are the problem. When you compare the two films side by side, the script is definitely the culprit. It’s like Christmas Matchmakers was done by feeding the Set It Up script into Google translate – converting it to Japanese, and then back again to English, and then editing out anything that sounded suspiciously authentic in favour of cliches and stilted dialogue. Honestly, I didn’t even realize I liked Set It Up until I watched this movie, and suddenly I had a whole new level of appreciation for it. This is my Christmas gift to you.

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