film reel image

film reel image

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Perfect Pairing 2022 * * 1/2 Stars


TV movie vet Don McBrearty directs 2022's The Perfect Pairing. And yeah, he dabbles in Christmas, mystery, and Valentine's Day stuff too. With "Pairing", McBrearty fashions a film that mixes the wintry LMN with the postcard-ed Hallmark Channel (of which it is a product of Hallmark). "Baby It's Cold Outside". Indeed.

The Perfect Pairing is like watching a holiday flick that's well, set in the second month between autumn and spring. Hey, the silly season may be over but you can still feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Every snowy frame is makeshift as Ontario, Canada masquerades beautifully for Upstate New York. "Pairing", well it wants you to kick those post-festivity blues right out the window with a little vino. 

The Perfect Pairing is a little schmaltzy, a tad cutesy, and about as predictable as Sunday brunch. But wait, all is not lost. You have the hooks of wineries and amnesia to give Hallmark some veritable heft. Oh and the two leads are amicably appealing (Eva Longoria lookalike Nazneen Contractor and Marlboro Man Brennan Elliott). 

"Pairing" follows the blueprint of Hallmark and Lifetime as if it were laid out on a floor plan. Girl meets guy. Wait, let me back up. Girl is a critic writer in the big city and her job makes her a little chilly (har har). Girl ventures out of the big city and gets stuck in a small town. Girl now meets guy. Guy is a good-looking dude who's a single dad. Girl finds her true self and falls in love with guy. Girl tries to save wine guy's business while ditching her old occupation. Finally, there's that smooch at the end (and I mean at the very end). All is right in the world again.

The Perfect Pairing is far from "perfect". I mean its running time is 82 minutes of fluff with its characters rambling on as if they need a self-help group or a life coach to latch onto. Still, "Pairing" is something to watch in the doldrums of January (for me NFL football is another option). Just think 2004's Sideways but with less technical plonk talk and G-rated remnants. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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