Thursday 24 August 2023

REVIEW: The List (2023) - Starring Halston Sage and Christian Navarro

Review by Jon Donnis
"The List" delivers a delightful blend of cheeky humour, romance, and self-discovery that keeps the audience entertained from start to finish. Led by the charismatic duo of Halston Sage and Christian Navarro, director Melissa Miller Costanzo crafts a light-hearted and engaging romantic comedy that hits all the right notes.

Halston Sage shines as Abby, a bride-to-be whose fairy tale engagement takes an unexpected turn when she discovers her fiancé's tryst with a celebrity from his "free pass" list. Faced with heartache and a desire for distraction, Abby teams up with her vivacious best friend Chloe (played with comedic flair by Chrissie Fit) to embark on a comical quest of her own. The mission? Pursuing her own list of celebrity crushes, including the hunky action star Mac West (Rich Morrow), the suave Sexiest Man Alive Cooper Grant (Gregg Sulkin), and the enigmatic Grammy-winning rapper Avon (Will Peltz).

The film takes a refreshing approach by placing Abby in the heart of Los Angeles, guided by her friend Sam (portrayed by Shelley Hennig), a savvy talent agent who pulls out all the stops to connect Abby with her celebrity idols. As Abby navigates the glitzy world of stardom, she encounters a series of laugh-out-loud situations that keep the film's comedic momentum flowing.

"The List" thrives on its humourous moments, seamlessly blending witty dialogue with physical comedy. The chemistry between the characters, particularly Abby and Chloe, adds an endearing layer to the story, making their escapades in pursuit of fame and romance both relatable and hilarious.

Director Melissa Miller Costanzo, known for her work on "All These Small Moments," maintains a breezy and engaging pace that allows the characters' dynamics to shine. The writing by Rob Lederer and Steve Vitolo, veterans of successful TV comedies like "Black-ish," "Crowded," and "Hot in Cleveland," inject the film with quick wit and comedic surprises that keep the audience hooked.

What truly elevates "The List" is its ability to strike a balance between comedy and heart. As Abby inches closer to her dreams of celebrity encounters, her path crosses with Jake (Christian Navarro), a local waiter with aspirations of his own. Navarro's portrayal of Jake adds depth and sincerity to the film, offering a grounded counterpoint to the glitzy world of celebrity pursuits.

While "The List" embraces some familiar rom-com tropes, it does so with a knowing wink and a fresh perspective. The film ultimately celebrates the journey of self-discovery, friendship, and the unexpected twists that life often throws our way.

In conclusion, "The List" earns its 7 out of 10 rating for its engaging blend of humour, romance, and genuine emotion. With a charming cast, well-timed comedic moments, and a touch of heart, the film showcases the power of laughter and connection in the face of life's surprises. It's a delightful escape into a world where dreams are pursued, love blossoms unexpectedly, and laughter prevails.

Out now on digital
Apple TV -