Me Time Review: Unnecessary Netflix Product Placement

Movie purists may be reluctant to admit it, but there are certain advantages to streaming a movie rather than going to the cinema. You are in the comfort of your own home, for example. So when you watch a movie like “Me Time” and feel like hanging out, there’s no shame in that. You don’t have to get up, gather your things and apologize in front of a crowd. You can just press a few buttons and watch “Bridgerton” instead.

It may look like a burn but, to be fair, the characters of “Me Time” would also rather watch “Bridgerton.” Fifteen minutes into this Netflix exclusive, Kevin Hart and Regina Hall, who play married couple Sonny and Maya Fisher, are having an argument because they were supposed to watch the Netflix exclusive “Bridgerton” together. Instead, she watched it with someone else while on a business trip. The sanctity of Netflix, if not necessarily marriage, apparently needs to be confirmed.

The worst in this situation? In what he claims was a significant sacrifice, Sonny Fisher didn’t watch “Bridgerton” on Netflix while his wife was away. Instead, he watched “Storage Wars,” which is currently streaming on Netflix rival Peacock. “You know I can’t get this piece of my life back,” he moaned.

The point is not that every part of the Netflix exclusive “Me Time” plays like a commercial for Netflix. Lots of things do, like a scene later in the movie where Sonny and his best friend insult a rival for watching “Storage Wars” (now on Peacock) and “Blue Bloods” (now on Paramount Plus). Thing is, the whole movie feels like filler, empty space waiting to be filled with plot points, characters, and jokes so generic it was incredibly easy to turn them into product placement. And not just any product placement, but product placement so pointless that it’s literally a service that Netflix knows you’re already subscribed to because it’s the only way to watch “Me Time.” .

As for the actual story, Hart plays Sonny, a super dad who takes care of two children while his wife, Maya, works as a successful architect. He gets tired of spending all his time with the kids and she gets tired of not spending any time with the kids. She doesn’t know what their daughter Ava (Amentii Sledge) is studying at school, and he doesn’t seem to realize that their son Dashiell (Che Tafari) isn’t interested in music anymore, but really wants to get into it. the stand-up. comedy instead. You can tell because he watches a lot of Netflix-exclusive comedy specials, as well as “Eddie Murphy Raw,” which is also currently on Netflix.

Sonny and Maya agree to switch roles over Spring Break, with Maya taking a vacation from work to visit family with the kids, and Sonny getting some much-needed “me time” at home alone. When he decides being alone sucks and he can’t handle it, he reconnects with his old childhood friend Huck Dembo (Mark Wahlberg), who always does crazy stunts for his birthday. And what do you know? It is his birthday.

Before long, Sonny and Huck are in the desert and Sonny is fighting a mountain lion. Also, they run into loan sharks who break Sonny’s finger and take a flamethrower to Huck’s party. Also, Sonny and Huck break into a rival’s house for Maya’s affections and vandalize it. Also, something really nasty happens to a turtle.

Writer/director John Hamburg has previously written and directed male bonding comedies, including one of the best, “I Love You, Man.” But this time his film suffers from a series of rough cuts. Sonny apparently needs “me time” because he needs time for himself, which he immediately gives up, as if self-care is pointless in this universe. Maya tells him that he never says “no” to anything, suggesting that his character arc would revolve around learning how to defend himself, but we also see that he’s a total bully at the talent show. school, and has no qualms about telling kids with dreams of very minor fame that they can’t hack.

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It takes a surprisingly long time to get to the meat of “Me Time,” the part where Sonny and Huck find themselves in a series of comedic misadventures as they challenge each other to better themselves, grow individually and as a group. friends. At this point, the film doesn’t have a lot of real estate to work with, the characters have long since proven themselves to be empty shells, and the film is left wide open for cinematic theft.

Ilia Isorelýs Paulino (“The Sex Life of College Girls”) steals the film from under Hart and Wahlberg, playing an Uber driver who gets carried away by their shenanigans. Whenever “Me Time” is actually funny – a rarity – it’s almost always because it’s onscreen.

There’s nothing wrong with harmless nonsense. There’s nothing wrong with once in a while wasting your time watching something generic and enjoyable. But “Me Time” takes all the “fun” out of the “superficial”. It wastes a good cast and reasonably decent setup in favor of the smoothness of going through comedy moves. It’s no wonder these characters all prefer watching “Bridgerton.” And yet, none of the “Bridgerton” characters would watch “Me Time.”

“Me Time” premieres on Netflix on August 26.