Hooking Up: Film Review

Hooking Up

If you thought pairing a sex addict and a man suffering from cancer together for a romantic comedy was a weird concept, you would be right, and that’s exactly what Hooking Up does.

Brittany Snow stars as Darla, a cynical sex columnist with an addiction to sex and porn. After she is fired for sleeping with the intern at her magazine, she decides to reflect on her colourful sexual history by going on a road trip to revisit her past encounters. Bailey (Sam Richardson), still reeling from a break-up from his childhood sweetheart and a sobering medical diagnosis, has a chance meeting with Darla and decides to come along for the ride, agreeing to recreate the sex Darla had the first time around.

It’s a ridiculous concept, right? It didn’t make an awful lot of sense to me and I just couldn’t see this ever actually happening in real life. I couldn’t figure out why recreating all her sexual encounters – in the same location and same position, but with another person – would be helpful, or why Bailey – who has only been with one person – would agree to this wild idea. Despite the raunchy subject matter, I was surprised that the sex scenes were so tame and involved no nudity (they always seemed to be fully clothed) – it’s like Hooking Up is aiming to be edgy but lacks any real bite.

It is also a romantic comedy that is distinctly not very funny – I laughed a couple of times – and rather predictable. The script has some great moments of dialogue in there, with Bailey, Darla and her boss Tanya (Jordana Brewster) each delivering some harsh truths and mean zingers, and after the road trip portion is over, I liked watching their personal growth storylines. The two leads re-evaluate their lives, face up to their respective problems and decide to make some changes, and this is where I started to get into it and believe in it.

I wasn’t convinced about Snow, who I know best from Hairspray and the Pitch Perfect movies, playing an off-the-rails sex addict who has to show up to a support group thanks to a court order. She didn’t seem to fit that type. However, although I didn’t quite buy her as the character, she does give a good performance and puts a lot of emotion into it in the latter half. I enjoyed Bailey’s journey more because he seemed nicer and more relatable and Richardson was likeable and pretty funny, with a scene in which he drunkenly addresses the wrong support group being a highlight. They both did well considered neither of their characters are fully-rounded humans with a ton of depth. I didn’t believe in their sexual chemistry but I could get behind them as supportive friends.

Hooking Up offers viewers a fresh and unusual take on the romantic comedy but is sadly not funny, raunchy or original enough to really hit the mark.

Released on digital platforms on Monday 8th June 

Rating: 2.5/5

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