After watching Netflix’s Set It Up for the sixth time since its 2018 release, I began to look at it from a different approach. In this film, two assistants come together to bring their high-ranking bosses into a relationship with one another, in which the assistants will have more free time. After watching and admiring the perfectly natural chemistry of Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell, I realized that this movie was essentially two wingmen working in tangent, despite the other party not knowing.
Being A Cyrano
“Think about it. We Cyrano them out of the office. And then when they’re boning, we’re free.”
Pulling a Cyrano is a common device used in the movie to reference the French play in 1897 by Edmond Rostand. It refers to a man who helps out someone that has better looks but far less charisma get with the girl that he likes. Being a Cyrano means being the man behind the curtain, the one that pulls the strings; a puppet master of sorts.
Now, how in the world did Deutch and Powell’s characters manage to pull this off? It starts with knowing their bosses to the T. Their favorite restaurant, place to visit, preferred spa on any given Tuesday? They know it all. Now, you don’t have to know all of this as well as they do. However, you know them on a personal level. Help them remember stories that they can share and make the whole table laugh.
A simple story starter such as, “Hey, remember that fourth of July where…” then allow them to share it with all the details that they desire. Creating these opportunities where your friend is able to charm their crush through story-telling or basic conversation while making it seem completely natural is key.
Aside from having direct impact on their conversation, you can also remind them of what to do outside of the other person’s earshot. Giving advice such as “Mention how great she looks in that dress” or “Don’t forget to face towards him” as the night goes on. Noticing how your wingmentee is doing and the crush’s reactions is critical to helping them out. These adjustments can help define how the overall interaction went.
Set It Up’s protagonists were able to build up their bosses’ relationships through constant interaction and opportunities in which they can talk. For starters, they had them trapped in an elevator. As a wingman, your job is to do the same. After all, Zoey Deutch’s Harper says it best when she states that “Every great romance has a meet cute”.
If you know the crush, invite them to a party or a hang out. Its simple really. Just a quick “Hey, a couple of my friends are gonna be getting brunch, wanna come with?” And bam. You did it. You created an opportunity for your friend to make a good impression or start talking. Afterwards, during the event, you can apply all the prior wingman tactics.
If its a party and your friend thinks they’re cute, you can create an opportunity by talking to them first. After a couple minutes of small talk, introduce your friend. The key to both of these paths is to be natural. Don’t overcomplicate things. Its just an introduction and a way for your friend to be able to talk to the person they think is cute. It doesn’t have to be anything big or extravagant. Like the last tactic, you start the conversation, they seal the deal.
Supporting Your Friend
The most impactful message that I got out of the movie was during the engagement party of Harper’s friend. She shares a phrase her grandmother says: “You like because, and you love despite”. This means that you like someone because of all these features that they have and you love them despite all of their flaws. As the pair are thinking about the phrase, they realize that their bosses don’t have that. This, alongside the cheating scandal in the later part of the movie, pushed them to cancel the upcoming marriage.
Now, this is all after the fact. This is when they’ve gone out on a few dates and its official or whatever label they want to put on it. When shit starts going down, you gotta be there to support your friend. If they’re questioning whether the other person is worth it, tell them that line. If they don’t love despite, it’s probably time to cut the other person off.
Is Set It Up a good movie?
Absolutely. If you are in need of some laughs and a relaxing movie, this is it. All the actors are phenomenal, the jokes are great, and the plot is refreshing. You’ll definitely get more from the movie than I can provide in the article, especially concerning love. Even though it is a light movie, some of the quotes are actually great and can be applied to a lot of different aspects in life. I only highlighted the ones that apply to wingmanning!
The leads, Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch, are absolutely charming and play off well with each other. The body language and expressions are natural as well, creating realistic and interesting interactions. Set It Up is available on Netflix!
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