It's fascinating to see that this is a Richard Linklater (of Everybody Wants Some!! and Before Sunrise) fame, as this feels in many ways so much more like a Lord & Miller production (or, more charitably, a lesser Coen work).

And, indeed, you can see Linklater take his foot off the gas and lean a bit into the "ehh, this is a Netflix paycheck" of it all: the hackneyed philosophy lectures, the bizarre suspension of disbelief required for most of the sting operations. But it's also a deeply entertaining film: the conceit is immediately delightful and interesting, Glen Powell acts his ass off, and the runtime knows that there's no room (or need) for unnecessary padding (unlike, say, The Fall Guy).

I'd argue that this is not a particularly good Linklater movie — I think he is most interesting when he is using cinema to express his feeling about the beauty and depth of seemingly-anodyne humanity, and this is him ignoring all that and deciding that it would be fun to make a rom-com. But it is a deeply good Netflix movie, and a perfect answer for "what's a fun, perfectly-delivered way to spend two hours?"


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