Arriving with far less fanfare than the likes of House of Cards or Orange is the New Black, Netflix’s latest foray into original comedy is perhaps one of its best so far. Created by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust, and Lesley Arfin, Love is a more down to earth approach to the traditional rom-com and charts the pitfalls of modern day relationships.
Judd Apatow likes to make long movies, Knocked Up, Funny People and This Is 40 were all half an hour too long before their respective extended DVD editions. Running time isn’t an issue for Love as Apatow and co have more than five hours to play with and aren’t afraid to take things slowly. On the surface, my brief description might immediately put you off giving Love a chance, but you would only be robbing yourself of a quirkily charming comedy that should appeal to both genders in equal measures. Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust) are both unlucky when it comes to affairs of the heart. Mickey is struggling to break up with her boyfriend (again), and Gus just found out his girlfriend had been cheating on him or to be more accurate lied that she had an affair to force him to dump her.
Mickey works at a radio station, and her often reckless behaviour lands her in hot water, but she can’t make her mind up if she loves or loathes her vocation. Gus works as a tutor for a young actress who stars on a hit (albeit trashy) supernatural TV series called Wichita (its about witches). Gus is a quirky guy, he and his friends have regular jam sessions to write movie theme songs to movies that don’t have a theme song. At times, this hipster behaviour might evoke a deep rooted desire to vomit in your hands just so you have something to throw at them, but for the most part, it’s a fun addition to the off-kilter humour.
The first episode keeps the leads apart; they eventually cross paths in a mini-mart and from there springs an unlikely friendship. The plot itself is one we’ve seen many times over so it falls on the two leads to hold our interest, thankfully Rust and Jacobs are more than up to the task.
Love literally throws rom-com conventions out the window of a moving car, or rather Gus cathartically disposes of his favorite Blu-rays out the window of Mickey’s car after he accidentally confronts his ex. Instead of these anti-rom-com cliches feeling forced in a “look at us we’re so off beat we’re crazy’ kind of way, Love is a thoughtful piece of writing that shines a light on the imperfections of relationships and uses them to its advantage. Mickey’s struggles with addiction aren’t glossed over, neither are they made crushingly depressing. That said, Love isn’t without its more dramatic moments as owards the end of the series Mickey’s heartfelt confession will leave you in pieces. While it won’t be to everybody’s tastes, Love is well worth a watch and has already been renewed for a second season.
Britta for the win!