Upgraded Movie Review: The social media meme machine will have you believe it's a curse to be single on Valentine's Week. But it has its perks. Although most of us have moved on from Hallmark movies that are cheesy, cheeky and annoyingly convenient, it does give you momentary happiness. Upgraded sticks to the memo to the T and delivers. Camila Mendes, Jenna Ortega, and Danny Ramirez are set to lead a new A24 film titled ALBA.

Mistaken identity brings love

Anna Santos (Camila Mendes) wishes to own her art gallery someday, and she believes a training program under Claire Dupree (Marisa Tomei), the mogul in the auction business, is the way to do so. What she doesn't plan is incidentally using Dupree's identity to get closer to not just her boss but also a handsome Brit William (Archie Renaux) as well. But lies don't outlast humans and so one day, they give in!

Predictable yet proper!

These days of cynical social media existence, unadulterated romantic movies are a rarity. Valentine's week ensures that we at least get some of them. Even when it makes us feel horribly single, they are just the thing you need to forget your crumbling life. Upgraded works there. These movies are indeed highly convenient and predictable, but very rarely does anyone make them so delightful to watch.

What works here is that Upgraded never positions itself as a prophet of love. It's just the kind of meet-cute scenarios we play in our heads with no real-life expectations. It's a women-only show and has women uplifting each other. There isn't a jealous woman fawning over Prince Charming and making things difficult for Anna. Yes, two token mean girls do become a spoke in the wheel, but that's purely professional.

Nods to Men Missing

What didn't work for me is that the nods to other characters are very lazily done. Claire Dupree's uptight, toxic boss act takes a lot of notes from Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada but fails to make a mark. It seemed more like a last-minute character change rather than an inherent trait. She doesn't even seem menacing in any of the scenes. Shoo-ing off assistants is not the only thing Priestly did prickly in that movie.

I understand that Upgraded is more about women, but it's high time romantic movies of such nature add some agency to the men as well. They shouldn't be treated like the women in several mainstream male-dominated movies. Archie Renaux should have been granted more room in the storyline other than just kissing Camila Mendes at regular intervals.

Watch the Trailer of Upgraded:

Camila Mendes fits right into the role of Ana Santos. She is smart, good-looking and has a great screen presence. Her chemistry with Archie is top-notch as well. Archie is pleasant to watch, but I would have loved to see more than just his face now and then. Marisa Tomei's Dupree is badly written, but you find yourself rallying for her eventually. Guess that's on Marisa! The rest did well in their parts.

Final Thoughts on Upgraded

As is obvious in such movies, it would be a blunder to look for more depth and reasoning. Upgraded does match the Hallmark movie literature, but it definitely is an upgrade over the same. It's a feel-good movie, so feel good about it. Upgraded streams on Amazon Prime.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 09, 2024 10:34 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).