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Just Short of Perfect – Quick Movie Review

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Ivana, a divorce lawyer meets a renowned cardiologist and sparks fly immediately. The only problem? He is half her size. Going through a divorce herself, is Ivana ready to battle her family and the world’s prejudice for her new man? A remake of the 2013 Argentinian film ‘Corazón de león’, the 2021 Netflix reboot ‘Just Short of Perfect’ directed by Alec McHaddo, is just the right title to stream if you are looking for a no-brainer fun watch.

Brazilian comedian Leandro Hassum plays Ricardo Leao, a charismatic doctor, who is perfect in every way, except for his almost dwarfish height. Juliana Paes plays the leading lady Ivana, and constantly reminded me of Bollywood actor and former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen. Like Sen, Paes is tall, smart-looking, with a smile that lights up the screen and passes on to the viewer.

Written by Marcos Carnevale (original screenplay), Michelle Ferreira & Paulo Leierer, the movie has a solid hilarious first-half. And the laughs aren’t constantly drawn from the height difference between the lead couple. A lot of the humor is very situational and between other members of the cast. For example, there’s a scene where Dr Leaso’s kid hands him condoms before a big date and says ‘I don’t want to share my inheritance’. The upbeat Spanish tracks the makers use through the story adds to the breezy comedic mood and it helps that Leandro as Leao has great comic timing.

Actor Elizangela who plays Ivana’s mother was amusing as the annoying control-freak mom who doesn’t let anybody else have their say. Marcelo Laham as Ivana’s asshole ex-husband, gets some mean punchlines that fit the part. There’s a little sub-plot of a gay wedding that gives the director scope for some outlandish colorful settings and more situational laughs. It really makes one want to watch the original film, since the remake is quite a riot too.

I did not have any expectations and just wanted to watch a new light funny film with family. But we were all laughing out loud a lot in the first half. The second-half however gets a little slow and cliched, with the classic ‘miscommunication’ trope that leads to the big conflict before the climax. With two smart adults as protagonist, a lawyer and a doctor at that, the little twist towards the ends was too juvenile for a script that keeps things fun yet realistic for most parts. Also, it’s rated 16+ for sex scenes, which honestly weren’t necessary at all. Had it not been for those scenes, ‘Just Short of Perfect’ would’ve been a perfect film to watch with the family (minus minor kids) on a free evening. But you are better off watching it by yourself or with friends.

It’s a 7/10 from me.

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