Love, Guaranteed: The Feel-Good Rom-Com of 2020

Rachael Leigh Cook and Damon Wayans Jr. in Love, Guaranteed. Courtesy of Netflix.

Love, Guaranteed, starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Damon Wayans Jr., is the feel-good romantic comedy of 2020 and is now available on Netflix.

The Seattle-set comedy (filmed in Vancouver) is sure to bring smiles to your face.  It doesn’t even matter that the film plays to every single genre beat.  Honestly, at this point in 2020, I just want to lay back and watch a movie that gives me hope.  Hope of finding love or what have you.  This film does exactly that even if it doesn’t really break new ground in the genre.  Strike that.  The film does bring dating apps into the equation.  It’s not exactly a new thing but at the same time, I haven’t really seen a rom-com truly have fun with the addition until now.  They directly pay homage to the perfect (aside from one early scene because Chicago) romantic comedy, When Harry Met Sally…

Susan Whitaker’s (Rachael Leigh Cook) boutique law firm is struggle to pay the bills.  This is what happens when you’re a pro bono lawyer!  In order to make bank for a change, she agrees to take on Nick Evans’s (Damon Wayans Jr.) case.  After 986 dates and failing to find love, Evans wants to sue Love, Guaranteed–the online dating app is owned by lifestyle guru Tamara Taylor (Heather Graham).  To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the two find themselves falling for each other.  Susan realizes that she must hold back if it means having any chance of winning the case.

Screenwriters Elizabeth Hackett and Hilary Galanoy make their characters relatable and in some instances, they draw from the actors’ lives.  The part in the film about The Fugitive?  This actually happened in real life for Cook.

Susan has some of her own quirks.  She drives a beat-up car that is stuck in the 80s with Tiffany’s cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now” stuck on an indefinite loop.  The door handle on the car also keeps falling off, too.

Nick works in physical therapy and if he wins the case, he wants to do something good with the money.  He’s not one of those litigants that wants to become rich just for the sake of it.  There’s some real heart at the core if these characters.

This wouldn’t be the first time that someone sued a company for not guaranteeing what they’re selling.  Is it a baseless lawsuit?  Maybe.  In any event, Cook suggested the idea after hearing about a man suing Coors for not having Rocky Mountain water in their beer.  Yes, this actually happened.

While I’m more familiar with Mark Steven Johnson’s work directing both Daredevil and Ghost Rider, this isn’t his first go-around with romantic comedies.  A decade ago, the filmmaker directed When In Rome but we’re not here to talk about that.  The experience certainly helps with regards to directing this new romantic comedy.  Johnson does a solid job at bringing Elizabeth Hackett and Hilary Galanoy’s script to the big screen.  There are some really fun moments here especially with Susan’s behavior once she realizes that she’s falling in love with Nick.  Personally, I thought they would kiss much sooner but ever the professional, Susan opts for the handshake.

Love, Guaranteed offers some much-needed escapism and a feel-good time.

DIRECTOR:  Mark Steven Johnson
SCREENWRITERS:  Elizabeth Hackett & Hilary Galanoy
CAST:  Rachael Leigh Cook, Damon Wayans Jr., and Heather Graham

Netflix launches Love, Guaranteed on September 4, 2020. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.