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Scene Breakdown: Netflix’s ‘Set it Up’ and the Best Meal Ever

Charlie and Harper in Netflix's Set it Up eating pizza
Source: Netflix

Do you also think about the best meal ever aka the pizza scene from Netflix’s Set it Up on a daily basis or are you normal? I recently re-watched the movie, and I’m happy to report that it holds up just as well as it did when it first released. I’m also now once again utter garbage for the pizza scene. Sure sex is great, but have you ever eaten pizza straight from the box while drunk in your sort of enemy, now turned friend’s bedroom after sneaking up to said room from a ladder?

Charlie vocalizes that this specific pizza is the best meal he’s ever had with utter sincerity after hearing Harper say it first, but even if he didn’t, we could understand with utmost certainty that for both of them, it’s a game changer of a moment. It’s a game changer not because it happens in perfectly rom-com fashion, but because the buildup to it is one “and yet” after another, along with the fact that there’s so much tension through the simple act, I’m surprised his roommate didn’t feel it from the other side of the house. (I suppose he was busy with his own tension, so he gets a pass.)

Shared pizza in this moment for both of them is about the spontaneity of it all, and it’s about the detail that in spite of everything that they claim, there’s a stunning level of comfort with one another without judgement. Set it Up’s Charlie and Harper are the best versions of themselves around each other because in challenging one another, they’ve shown just what was missing around others. There’s too much thinking involved or not enough of it, but with each other, it’s just right.

And it’s the realization while devouring pizza where they both come to the understanding that it’s not just about the meal, but it’s about the person sitting next to them and how they got there in the first place—the adventure of it all even in its simplicity.

Charlie and Harper in Netflix's Set it Up eating pizza.
Source: Netflix

Harper and Charlie both needed an escape from the real world and they needed pizza, but most importantly, they needed each other. The brief moment of losing oneself in the eyes of another, in the utter chaos that erupts when two drunken goons can still manage to challenge each other while remaining entirely oblivious to just how much the other is impacting them results in an utter treasure of a moment.

The reason rom-coms are unbeatable is because when done intricately, they give us moments of real vulnerability such as this scene that hit like a ton of bricks in all the right ways. Charlie and Harper shouldn’t be interested in each other, and yet…they can’t bring themselves to understand why this pizza is the best pizza they’ve ever had. They can’t bring themselves to figure out what on earth just happened between that slow dance at the engagement and the first bite of the pizza.

It’s the slow, agonizingly quiet realization that they are now sitting in front of someone they desperately want, but shouldn’t and have no idea how to cope, only one more glance, one more bite before someone raises the question that they should leave. They’ve both just found someone who’s just as passionate about pizza and can say ridiculous things about it, what more is there to want?

It’s the intimacy in sharing something with someone then wordlessly vocalizing just how incredible the moment is through all its imperfections because it’s not about the pizza, it’s about the decisions before, the ones after, and everything in between. And you know what, I didn’t even have to find profound words for this scene, it’s just one of the most glorious things that’s ever happened in a movie and I’m still waiting for a rom-com to understand me as much as this scene in Set it Up did. I didn’t need a reason to write about this, I just wanted to scream about the insanity of it all. (I also now want pizza and I bet you do too, unless you don’t like pizza then I just don’t even know what to say to you.)

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