A Perfect Pairing

Content Caution

MediumKids
MediumTeens
LightAdults
A Perfect Pairing

Credits

In Theaters

Cast

Home Release Date

Director

Distributor

Reviewer

Kennedy Unthank

Movie Review

Don’t be fooled by its focus on a relaxing substance: The wine industry is cutthroat.

That’s what Lola quickly learns working for Mythos Wines. She got a lead on a novel Australian winery, Vaughn Family Wines, and the company is looking for a U.S. importer to partner with. It’s the perfect pitch for her stereotypically strict boss, and it’s sure to get her promoted—which is why Lola watched in dismay as her supposed best friend at work unapologetically stole the information from her and passed it off as her own, leaving her empty-handed. With her anger bubbling up faster than a bottle of champagne, Lola systematically tells everyone in the office off and quits, opting to start her own company instead.

At the time, it felt like a good idea. But now, with her company surviving off of her quickly dwindling life savings, Lola’s got to go big or go home. Fortunately, she knows just how to do it: by securing Vaughn Family Wines before Mythos can get its hands on the client in four weeks. So, Lola flies to Australia to attempt her pitch meeting.

But there’s absolutely no way Vaughn Family Wines is going to go with a non-licensed company made up of one employee, according to its Fortune 500 CEO Hazel Vaughn. Well, that is, until the Vaughn sheep farm loses a much-needed employee right at the start of shearing season.

Though Lola’s got no experience with sheep or farms or the rugged life in general, she volunteers to fill the two-week position—because she’ll prove one way or another that she’s a hard worker and can be trusted to take care of Vaughn Family Wines. If she can prove herself, then Hazel will talk wine with her.

And as Lola struggles through learning how to work in the rugged landscape, she’ll come to find that though Australia has its dangers, it also has its beauty—including one “boss cocky” man who has been increasingly catching her eye.

Positive Elements

Lola’s person of interest, a man named Max, is initially frustrated with having to teach the “newbie” Lola, as he doesn’t believe he has the time to spare. Other workers additionally play pranks on Lola and treat her poorly at the start of her two-week trip. However, over time, they all come to admire Lola’s refusal to give up despite her very obvious struggles, calling her part of the crew.

Additionally, a coworker named Breeze doesn’t mistreat Lola whatsoever. Instead, Breeze tries to help Lola feel more at home, and she apologizes for the treatment of the other workers.

Though Max is occasionally frustrated with Lola, he never gives up trying to help her learn how to work the farm. On a couple occasions, he protects her from dangerous wildlife, and he vouches for her against Hazel’s more skeptical comments.

[Spoiler Warning] Mythos Wine’s CEO makes his way to Vaughn Family Farms with Audra, Lola’s friend who had stolen the lead, in tow. And though Lola is understandably upset at Audra for her betrayal, she eventually forgives her and even hires Audra as an employee at her new company.

Spiritual Elements

A man mentions yoga, and a woman says “namaste.”

Sexual Content

Lola’s friend Sam is a lesbian; Sam’s partner, Heidi, is pregnant. The two get married and kiss. Lola and Max passionately kiss on three occasions. At one point, Lola sees Max shirtless, causing her to audibly moan. A woman asks if Lola “got it” in reference to Max, and a man asks if Max has a six-pack. Lola and Max go swimming; Max is seen in a swimsuit, and Lola strips to her underwear to join him in the pool. We hear the British and Australian slang word for sex, “shag.”

Violent Content

People fight in a bar, throwing punches at one another and hitting each other with stools.

Crude or Profane Language

God’s name is misused at least seven times. “A–,” “d–n,” “h—” and “b–tard” are all used occasionally. We hear the insult “knob” once. At one point, Lola exclaims, “What the flock?!”

Drug and Alcohol Content

As the premise suggests, alcohol is a constant in A Perfect Pairing. People drink wine and beer frequently. On a couple of occasions, we see people heavily intoxicated. Lola references cigarettes.

Other Negative Elements

Lola’s friends steal champagne. A CEO yells at his employees. Lola accidentally covers Hazel and Max in manure. Sam pretends to spank another woman during a drunken dance montage. Audra passes Lola’s work off as her own.

Conclusion

In January 2022, Hallmark released a TV movie titled The Perfect Pairing, about a wine critic who loses her memory in an accident while visiting a winery and eventually falls in love with the owner.

Don’t get that movie confused with Netflix’s A Perfect Pairing, a May 2022 release about a wine-company executive who visits a winery, works as a farmhand and falls in love with the boss. We’re talking about the latter film here. Still, the fact that both of these similarly named movies were released in the same year is perhaps the most perfect pairing of them all.

Unlike Hallmark’s TV-G rated film, this rom-com earns a PG-13 rating as we follow the budding relationship between Lola (played by Victoria Justice) and “boss cocky” Max (Adam Demos). Much to his dismay, Max has been assigned to be Lola’s guide as she learns how to work on the farm in order to impress the winery and potentially earn its exclusive business, setting the stage for a predictably cheesy romance between the city girl and the country boy.

A Perfect Pairing isn’t, of course, perfect from a content perspective. We see intoxicated dancing and a bar fight. We’ll also see Max shirtless, a bit of kissing (both hetero and same-sex) and a subplot regarding a pair of lesbians having a baby and getting married (in that order). Occasional swearing is also present.

Though the plot plays like your standard Hallmark feel-good rom-com, for some viewers it’ll likely be a few rungs too high up the content ladder while at the same time being a few rungs down on said ladder for your standard Netflix release.

PluggedIn Podcast

Parents, get practical information from a biblical worldview to help guide media decisions for your kids!
Kennedy Unthank

Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank betrayed his roots by leaving the wheat behind to study journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics.