• Wendy Shreve


Lyricist Hal David wrote, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love." Attempts at putting charming romance on screen, as of late, have been mediocre at best. The Hating Game (2021) has the pedigree of a made-for-tv movie: fairly unknown leads and supporting actors, a familiar plot-line, but then it throws a few surprises into the mix.

Set in New York City, the story begins as after a laidback publishing firm merges with a corporate, mass production megacompany. Lucy, up-and-coming publishing executive, must work opposite her counterpart and competition, Josh. The Control Freak, in her eyes, represents the establishment she despises. However, his ability to exchange banter becomes a challenge she wishes to match.

Now with the MeToo movement, political correctness that exists today, some may take issue with in-office flirting. Rest assured, nothing untoward occurs. Outside of the office, the fun truly begins.

The two attractive leads, Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, keep the suspense going. They also have very good comedic timing. Chemistry in a rom-com must be palpable for the story to have any entertainment value--it does.

Yes, the harsh title, The Hating Game, could be tweaked. Also, Josh's one-note father falls flat. But the supporting cast including veteran Corbin Bernsen add to the story.

Those ready for an escape from gloom and doom consider watching an appealing distraction, The Hating Game.

Rated R (scratching my head on this decision) nudity (him not her), sex (not a Hallmark movie) and occasional swearing.

Available December 6th on Apple+ TV and I-Tunes.

Earlier reviews not seen on this website (before May 20, 2021) are available on or my previous blog site,

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