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The Hating Game

The Hating Game Is About 2  Insanely Goodlooking People Falling  In Love While Pretending  To Hate One Another

The Hating Game(available on Amazon by VOD)

Starring   Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell

Directed  by Peter Hutchings

Rating: ** ½

The Hating Game  Movie Review: The best thing  about  The Hating Game is  that it is  not  apologetic about  its triteness. For a   film about pretence, it is  a surprisingly  unpretentious oldfashioned   yarn  about two dementedly goodlooking professionals pretending to hate each  other while  all along they secretly have the hots for one another.

Lucy Hale, oven-fresh  from her success  on American television plays  Lucy Hutton  , a stunningly scrubbed  and squeaky-clean  singleton determined  to make her way up the corporate ladder  in  her publishing firm in spite of the  opposition  from her nemesis Joshua Templeman, played with stoic  manliness  by Austin Stowell who , in the grandest romantic tradition, does everything to rile Lucy from mimicking her  desk-top habits to  kissing her  passionately in  the  lift

“You can  report me to the HR, if you want,”  he mumbles with risible righteousness.

Lucy looks at  Joshua  daggers drawn(lingerie moistened)  as if she would  rather report  him for  not  going far enough. If  truth be told, when push  came to shove–pun decidedly intended—and  Lucky got down to what she  refers to as ‘naked activities’.Joshua chickened out.

For a second I thought, hey hang on,is  Joshua gay?

Banish all the dark thoughts and bring out those rose-tinted glasses. The Hating Game is as sunny as they….umm…come.  This is  a trolley-travel over a sleek space  for  two sexy swingers  waiting to  hit the sack…the  go-ahead flag is waved  a little later than  you expect. Until then  Joshua and Lucy fight and make-up, make-up and fight… Their behaviour is  ridiculously   improper for the workplace, and  their juvenile  games  of one upmanship would be nauseating were  it not so cute.

But here  is  the  thing: Hale and Stowell look  so much like  a real couple  pretending to be  at loggerheads that we cannot wait to see them  sort  out their silly misunderstandings and  get on with what they are so obviously created to  do: make  beautiful babies. But before that there is utterly  uncalled-for  visit to Joshua’s  home for his  brother’s wedding where Joshua  must confront the demon from his past: his father.

By the time the family crisis is resolved  Hale and Stowell  look like they would burst  out of their respective clothings with hormonal  anxiety.

In spite of the   sheer pedestrianism  of  the proceedings, the air crackles with sexual tension  in The Hating Game. There is  nothing even remotely  unexplored  in  this romantic  territory. But it is  all  done as   a dutifully beautifully titivated  romantic cliché. Barbara Cartland must be smiling from heaven.

 

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