New to Netflix today is the Brazilian romantic comedy, Just Short of Perfect (aka Amor Sem Medida). The movie – directed by Ale McHaddo – stars Juliana Paes and Leandro Hassum, and follows the story of divorced lawyer Ivana Tavares and cardiologist Ricardo Leão, who find love despite one significant difference: their height.
The two meet when Ivana accidentally leaves her phone in a café. Leão finds the mobile, calls Ivana, and arranges a collection.
Upon meeting in person, Ivana is surprised to discover that Leão is considerably smaller than she imagined and is initially dismissive of him when he starts to chat her up. But within minutes he wins her over with his huge personality, making Ivana forget their size difference.
Due to his gregarious nature, Leão then convinces Ivana to go skydiving with him, followed by a more intimate date the next day. Both occasions bring the couple closer and it quickly becomes clear there is instant chemistry here.
Everything goes well for the pair until outside forces start to make Ivana doubt her relationship status with a much shorter man, and this causes disharmony between the two. But can they overcome this issue to forge a new path of love, where size doesn’t matter?
The first thing to know about Just Short of Perfect is that this is a fairly derivative movie, with a story that has been done before. The second thing to know about Just Short of Perfect is that derivative or not, this movie is a great deal of fun.
It’s bright, breezy and whimsical, has its heart in the right place, and is a delight to watch. Just like Ivana, I was initially dismissive of the picture during its opening minutes, but just like Ivana my reservations soon faded away.
This film made me chuckle on multiple occasions, it brought a smile to my face, and I found myself caught up in the story. I wasn’t bowled over by originality, this is a simple film about ‘accepting differences’, but I was captivated by its charm.
At the centre of the story are two great performances from Juliana Paes and Leandro Hassum as Ivana and Leão. Both sell their roles very well, and both come across as likeable – something I find very important in a romantic comedy.
As a general rule of thumb, I can take or leave rom-coms, and this is usually because of the lead actors. If they’re not enjoyable to watch, or they don’t work well together on screen, then the whole thing falls apart.
Here we have a great bit of casting. I’m sure many will question why 5-foot-9 actor, Hassum was cast in this picture, when a smaller actor could have been chosen (without the need for some camera trickery to make him look shorter), but regardless of this, he works well with Paes.
The lead actors have a chemistry that shines, and you can’t help but root for them. OK, so it’s obvious that things will work out for the pair, but that doesn’t mean the journey isn’t enjoyable along the way.
And it’s not just these two that make this movie work, the supporting cast are great too! Plus the vibe of the movie is good, the picture never runs out of steam, and the whole thing delivers an important message.
As it states in its title, Just Short of Perfect isn’t perfect, but it is very watchable and highly enjoyable. The film knows exactly the story it wants to tell, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it has fun along the way.
If you’re looking for something light to watch, then this is certainly worth your time. It’s nothing mind blowing, it’s simply good entertainment.