Up in the Air is a Rom-com of sorts, but it doesn’t follow the usual “Boy meets girl, boy does something stupid and they break up, then love wins out and they get back together” formula of rom-coms, which made me like it more than I expected to. I actually enjoyed a majority of it.
Up in the Air is basically the story of Ryan Bingham, a guy who flies around America firing people for a living. He has no attachments in life and that’s the way he likes it, spending at least 250 days in the air per year he considers airports and plans to be his home, and actively avoids anything that might tie him down. He does motivational speeches to people who want learn how to live an unburdened life.
One night he meets Alex in an airport bar, and they swap stories on which club cards they have and what services they use and Ryan reveals his ambition is to get a certain number of airmiles, which he hasn’t reached yet, and she’s impressed by his American Airways members card, so they go back to his room and try to simulate being in the Mile High Club. They plan to meet up again in Florida in a few weeks time and go their separate ways. And when Alex is called back to base to find out they’re changing his business to the impersonal firing of people over the internet he argues against it, and takes the young inventor of the internet system on the road to see the business first hand.
All of which works pretty well, it avoids being too familiar or cliché, but then it gets in to familiar ground when it comes to a family wedding and from there it just becomes boring and predictable and you can see every major development long before it arrives. It’s entertaining enough, has a few good laughs in it and despite becoming predictable it doesn’t fall in to the trap of becoming just another rom-com with the same standard story.