Director: Ale McHaddo
Writer: Michelle Ferreira
Starring: Juliana Paes, Leandro Hassum, Letícia Birkheuer, Elizângela, Pietra Hassum, Marcelo Laham, Marcele Mansfield, Launa Martau
Rom-coms have a specific formula that has been repeated time and time again, and yet it still works. Just Short of Perfect doesn’t work. It feels like it belongs in the early 2000s, rather than a Netflix Original twenty years later. There are some laughs to be had, but those are few and far between as it meanders through a predictable plot about accepting ourselves and others for who we/they are.
Ivana (Juliana Paes) is a divorce attorney who works with her soon to be ex-husband. After leaving her phone at a café, she receives a phone call on her landline from Leão (Leandro Hassum). After an instant connection over the phone, they agree to meet up, which is when Ivana realises that there is a massive height difference between them. Despite this the relationship starts off well, until Ivana must introduce Leão to her family and she starts to see a problem with their height difference.
The plot is already laid out the second the ‘reveal’ happens. You know that she’s going to have a problem with him being short, it’s going to cause a break-up and then they will get back together for a happy ending. There are no surprises, and that wouldn’t be too much of a problem if there was something else to like about the film. There just isn’t.
When they first meet, there’s the awkward humour, with the waiter coming up and asking if Ivana wants another short, when she gets awkward straight away. Then the film seems to move past it, which is refreshing, and it turns out that Leão is a charming, cardiologist daredevil. When he’s not saving the Pope’s life, he’s skydiving. Then as the plot progresses, the jokes all seem to centre around his height. It’s not very funny, often cringy and just feels like stuff we’ve seen before.
The resolution at the end of the film isn’t that great, you know what’s going to happen way before it does and the characters just aren’t that likable to make it really hit home. Ivana is embarrassed by Leão, telling her parents that they are just friends, and when Ivana’s mother finds out they are dating she acts in a horrible way. They are just bad people.
Just Short of Perfect is very very far away from being perfect. There are some funny moments, most noticeably with Ivana’s assistant, but that’s not enough to enjoy. It’s very easy to watch and being on Netflix it’s something you could probably fall asleep too, but it’s not worth anyone’s time. It’s dated, unfunny and very dull.
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