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Rom-com hate bomb: F*ck Love Too is punishingly vacant

Megan Nolan loves a bad rom-com, but this latest Netflix effort is stupid and hateful

F*ck this hateful stupid show (Photo: Netflix)

There are few romantic comedies I can’t sit through happily.

I don’t just mean the really good stuff, the When Harry Met Sallys of this world – it’s no great achievement to like the prestige ones. There’s been a little bit of a reactive backlash in the past decade or two to the patronising way entertainment aimed at women is perceived, objection to the scathing
derision for “chick-lit” books and romcoms. I get it and I broadly agree, but actually my perspective is that a proportion of what I enjoy is pure undeniable crap, and that’s fine.

I watch good films too, read serious books, but most of the romantic comedies I watch are complete garbage and I don’t feel the need to pretend they have any more merit than they do. Do men pretend that watching The Fast and the Furious Part 18 is on an intellectual par with watching Bergman films? No, they watch their nonsense happily and don’t feel the need to justify it.

All of which is to say that I even like the widely loathed type of romcom. I
once texted my best friend while watching the film Made of Honour, in which Patrick Dempsey interrupts a wedding in Scotland on horseback, to say, “You know I think this film is actually quite good,” to which she replied, “I don’t know how to say this but that film is one of the worst films ever made, maybe one of the worst things ever made, of any kind”. I enjoy even the ensemble cast sort of romcom. The ones called Valentine’s Day, or New Year’s Eve, which have 80 unrelated overlapping plots and which high-profile celebrities appear in because they get paid handsomely to show up and do exactly eight minutes of filming.

There was nothing obvious to suggest that I should hate the new Dutch romcom F*ck Love Too, streaming now on Netflix, which is a similar sort of haphazard, “throw everything at the wall and something will stick” attitude. And yet, I hated it. I hated it so much that I was near tears of sheer frustration and repulsion by the end of its tidy 90-minute run time. My friend was wrong, Made of Honour isn’t the worst film ever made. Compared to F*ck Love Too, Made of Honour is a dazzling tour de force of immense originality and artistic integrity.

It is a sequel, but requires no knowledge of its predecessor. This is a blessing as I would have lost the will to live if exposed to any more of this punishingly vacant content. There is little by way of a substantial plot as such, instead there are simply a bunch of couples all in various states of disarray and we see them do foolish or cruel things and have problems and then resolve them.

It begins at Lisa’s grandmother’s funeral, in which we see the first of many tedious moments of quasi-slapstick, when a man named Said drops his phone into the coffin and then manages to wrestle the casket to the ground while trying to retrieve it. This, lame and desperately unfunny as it is, is possibly the comedic peak of the film.

Jack is Lisa’s ex-husband who cheated on her with her best friend Cindy, to whom he is now married and who is pregnant. He also got another woman pregnant at the same time – I mean pretty much exactly the same time, they give birth on the same day, busy night for Jack – and this leads to some draining shenanigans where both women, unaware of each other, are shopping in the same maternity store, and so on, and on and on.

Lisa and her friends Angela and Kiki travel to Ibiza for Kiki’s bachelorette, where dejected Lisa is cheered up considerably from her divorce funk by the attentions of two anodyne interchangeable men. A truly deranged plotline follows where Angela is sleeping with a guy who turns out to be an escort and who Kiki has for some reason paid to have sex with her friend. Her motivation for this is never explained in any real way, but by this time you don’t care, you are wailing, you are gnashing your teeth, you are begging God to make it stop.

To compound the general idiocy, lack of chemistry, storyline, authentic characters – anything, really, which one might wish to include in a decent film – there are moments of uncomfortable, ambient unpleasantness.

There is something strange happening with race here – all of the male husbands are people of colour, and their wives all white. One of the wives mistakes a man who is not her husband for her husband, because, it is implied, they are both black. Other passing comments are jarring too, and the male escort plot gets pretty horrid.

Stupid but benign I could take, but nobody should ask for even 90 minutes
of your time and reward you with stupid and hateful.

F*ck Love Too is streaming now on Netflix

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