'Cooped Up' Review: Love and laughter are essential these days and the film serves both in generous doses

For those of you living with your family in quarantine right now, 'Cooped Up' comes as a soothing balm


                            'Cooped Up' Review: Love and laughter are essential these days and the film serves both in generous doses
(China Shop Productions)

These are tough times. These are days where staying healthy comes at a price. These are days when staying alive is a blessing. By no means are we exaggerating, not when the world as we know it has lost a sense of normalcy after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. People have died, and some are still in recovery mode.

These are times when the world needs some extra dose of love and a generous helping of laughter that brings in that much-needed warmth and comfort during testing times. For those of you living with your family in quarantine right now, 'Cooped Up' comes as a soothing balm.

And for someone who doesn't fancy rom-coms (the last one was 'The Proposal' only for Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds), this Australian light-hearted film tugs a few strings. It is partly cheesy, but right now, we could use some of that. 

'Cooped Up' was shot in 2016, but came to prominence after its storyline expertly predicted the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. There are a few changes, for starters, this version of the pandemic wasn't from China, but North Africa.

The film opens with Jake (Charles Cottier) in a hospital robe and a bloody cast. He stumbles home and is in for a rude awakening when Emily (Kathryn Beck), a doctor, arrives at his house the following day with some bad news. 

Jake reportedly came in contact with a man for was tested positive for coronavirus, which means self-isolation for 21 days. Seems familiar? And much like how we reacted, so does Jake as he suffers all the first-world problems we did — Bad internet, torrid cable TV connectivity, empty kitchen larders, well, you get the hint.

It is also revealed that Jake is actually a wrestler who is bent on going to the United States for a competition. And all that stands in his way is the 21 days. 

Kathryn Beck as Emily (China Shop Productions/ YouTube)

There's a sense of predictability. Jake and Emily get off on the wrong foot after the former make light of just about everything. If he has one other problem, it would be catching a rat that has been a constant pain in his side.

So for the next 21 days, we see Jake go through the motions, some days are spent doing nothing, some springing rat traps, and eventually contemplating what to do with life once he realizes the gravity of the situation. All the while, there is a silver lining — Emily, who checks in every day. 

There is that one act in rom-coms where love is subtly professed and in this case, it comes in the form of the two talking about their parents. It is easy to see where it goes. By the end of the film, there is one simple plot twist, but nothing earth-shattering (Now that's as close as we can get to give you a spoiler). 

 From director Kane Guglielmi ('Home and Away') comes a fun, light film. With a runtime of just a couple of minutes over 80, 'Cooped Up' can be one of those flicks you can watch and switch off the TV with a content smile.

The first thought to register was how a movie like this gained prominence four years later. In a way, it has worked. While there is plenty of content out there to binge or flip through, this movie makes a case for itself to be watched as it relates directly with the one term that's been trending across the world. 

Love and laughter are much-needed these days and 'Cooped Up' serves up both in generous portions. Whether you want to just sigh in contentment or have moist eyes while going "aww", this one is for you.

'Cooped Up' is available for streaming on Crackle TV.

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