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Love is in the Air review: Delta Goodrem delivers top comfort viewing

Every character in this Australia-shot film is a cliché, so sit back and prepare to be solidly entertained.

Originality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes you want a story to be soothingly predictable, so you can just enjoy the familiar rhythms. Fresh twists or memorable developments become a drawback; you want to know what you’re getting into and come out the other side having got exactly that. If that sounds like a good deal, you’re ready for Love is in the Air.

(Spoiler alert: the film does not feature the song)

Shot on location in the Whitsundays and starring Delta Goodrem, this Netflix rom-com is the dictionary definition of comfort viewing. There is no point during this film where you will be in the slightest bit surprised by anything going on; don’t worry about getting near the edge of your seat, you’ll be relaxing back against the cushions for the entire thing. Does this make it a bad film? Not in the slightest.

Dana Randall (Goodrem) is a – well, the only – pilot at Fullerton Airways. It’s a family business run by her dad Jeff (Roy Billing, who’s always good to see), though ‘business’ is a bit of an exaggeration. While tourism is meant to bring in the money, Dana is fully focused on the not-for-profit outback support side of their job. Need your mail delivered? Have to rush your dog to the vet after a snake bite? Dana’s got you covered.

This lack of actual income has come to the attention of Fullerton’s backers, which for some reason is a UK investment firm, APG Financial. William Mitchell (Joshua Sasse), the slightly wishy-washy but eager to prove himself son of the owner, Duncan (Hugh Parker), has zeroed in on Fullerton as an asset that they can rationalise (that is, shut down and sell off the assets).

There’s one twist: dad tells Will he’s got to go there and give it the once over himself, to prove to the board that he’s worthy of the promotion that’ll be waiting for him when he gets back.

Tropical north

So on the one hand we have a workaholic pilot with no time for love, as Fullerton mechanic and Dana’s bestie Nikki (Steph Tisdell) keeps pointing out (don’t worry, Dana’s ex is also the local barman so we know she’s capable of love, just too busy for it).

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On the other we have a slightly bumbling Brit who arrives in a (linen) suit and tie with a dark secret that we know will put a kink in any romance that might develop between him and any attractive workaholic pilots with no time for love. Time to sit back and enjoy the scenery.

That’s not sarcasm, by the way: director Adrian Powers puts the Whitsunday islands front and centre here and they look amazing in every scene. Though there are a few news reports about a storm brewing (uh oh), so it’s not all constant promotion for Queensland’s tropical north.

But with Nikki constantly suggesting Dana take Will out on runs to show him the value of the business, we do get to see a lot of incredible islands and ocean – and Will himself, who gets his shirt off at one point during an impromptu repair session on the battered seaplane that’s Fullerton’s sole flying asset.

Read: Love is in the Air on Netflix – need to know

Every character in this film is a cliché, but that’s hardly a flaw. Dana basically has two settings – earnest but loveable dogooder and angry doogooder – which Goodrem is able to handle pretty well, while Will is a dork who has a not-so-secret studly side (largely revealed by playing sport with the local children). There’s not a lot of passionate chemistry between them, but the steam here is coming from the tropics. They’re basically two likeable people you want to see get along.

This is nobody’s idea of a classic movie, but once you understand what kind of story it’s telling it’s a solidly entertaining one. Familiar beats are hit with comforting regularity, while things move along quickly enough to prevent boredom from setting in.

And if you ever get tired of the scenery (unlikely), you can always marvel at the way Dana is the only pilot in the tropics wearing full make-up on every single flight.

Love is in the Air premieres on Netflix on 28 September.

Anthony Morris is a freelance film and television writer. He’s been a regular contributor to The Big Issue, Empire Magazine, Junkee, Broadsheet, The Wheeler Centre and Forte Magazine, where he’s currently the film editor. Other publications he’s contributed to include Vice, The Vine, Kill Your Darlings (where he was their online film columnist), The Lifted Brow, Urban Walkabout and Spook Magazine. He’s the co-author of hit romantic comedy novel The Hot Guy, and he’s also written some short stories he’d rather you didn’t mention. You can follow him on Twitter @morrbeat and read some of his reviews on the blog It’s Better in the Dark.