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Film: Upgraded
Cast: Camila Mendes, Archie Renaux, Marisa Tomei, Rachel Matthews, Lena Olin, Anthony Heald
Director: Carlson Young
Rating: 2.5/5
Runtime: 104 min

It took three Screenwriters – Christine Lenig, Luke Spencer Roberts, and Justin Matthews to dream up this romcom. The story is about Ana (Camila Mendes) and her ambitions. She is an employee at an art auction house run by Claire (Marisa Tomei, doing a great riff on Meryl Streep’s ‘Devil Wears Prada’ character). Claire is an imposing perfectionist and Ana is greedy enough for a breakthrough in her career. When Ana discovers a typo in an auction catalog and brings it to Claire’s attention just before the item gets sold, she gets an in into Claire’s affections. Claire rewards Ana by inviting her to London to help with handling a major collection about to hit the market. En route, she gets a free upgrade to first class on the flight, meets a dashing young man Will (Archie Renaux), and begins to fall for him. And the expected complications follow.

Rich boy Will thinks she is the boss of the auction house and Ana does nothing to correct his misconception. The white lie sets off a glamorous chain of events, romance, and opportunity, but her fib eventually surfaces and causes a rift.

Like the adage says and it’s true here, ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth.’ The idea might have sounded good on paper but as envisaged in the movie, it plays out as irritating rather than funny. Can Love Trump deliberate misrepresentation question you might ask?

If the actors have strong charisma and are likeable in their roles it just may work out to the good. But Ana played by Camila Mendes is flippant and never truly regrets her white lie. She goes through the motions but there’s no sincerity in her apology. And it just isn’t believable that Will would overlook such a huge character flaw in his partner. The part where Ana and William get to know each other is romantic enough but when she enters William’s world, meets his mother Catherine ( Lena Olin) a famous British actress, and Julian (Anthony Heald), an artist, and they instantly adore her, it feels contrived.

The cast is studded with good, dependable actors and that’s probably the only saving grace here. Marisa Tomei does well to play Claire with all the gusto and bite that the role demands. Lena Olin and Archie Renaux are extremely likable in their respective roles. But Mendes, though assured doesn’t lend empathy or vulnerability to her role. The writing which takes a generic route to having the two young protagonists fall in love, fails to take any interesting or humorous turns. At best, this is passable entertainment geared up to suit the Valentine`s Day demand.

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