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‘The Hating Game’ review: Straightforward rom-com delivers the goods

Good old fashion love film.

The Hating Game is a romantic comedy that is based on the novel of the same name. Unafraid the follow the norms of the genre, the movie is about a woman named Lucy Hutton (Lucy Hale) who looks to achieve professional success without compromising her ethics. Her attempts to outdo a co-worker named Joshua Templeman (Austin Stowell) become complicated by the growing attraction they have for each other. 

It is a copy and paste rom-com, but that does not necessarily make it bad. One of the charms of these types of films is the knowledge that things will turn out exactly as the audience wants. It is not much of a spoiler to say The Hating Game delivers the anticipated ending. With this type of movie, it is not about what happens between the credits, but how it is done. 

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Possibly the most important part of any rom-com is the chemistry between the two leads. Ideally, the audience will be rooting for the pair to get together. At the same time, the ups and downs of the potential pairing should be interesting. Hale and Stowell do a fantastic job of making The Hating Game engaging. This is seen most obviously in the comedic timing the two share. Though the jokes can get predictable, they never feel stale thanks to the two stars.

There is also the buy in factor. It is surprising how many rom-coms (really, cinematic romantic pairings in general) lack an on-screen spark. This is always noticeable and can ruin an entire film. Thankfully, that is not the case in The Hating Game. Watching Lucy and Joshua is always delightful. 

Romantic-comedies are never in short supply. That is doubly true during the holiday season. Finding a good one is a whole other story. The Hating Game sticks to the rom-com playbook and delivers an enjoyable movie that anyone who watches should appreciate.

The Hating Game comes to theaters and on demand December 10

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