the perfect date

Stars: 2.5/5

“The Perfect Date” is a garden variety rom-com, serving up some bland old tropes. While I was outraged in the beginning of the movie because I thought they were trying to rip off “Ten Things I Hate About You,” the best movie of all time, I quickly realized it’s just a boring original.

The movie is about, of course, the perfect date. The plucky main character, Brooks Rattigan (Noah Centineo) starts up an app where he pretends to be the perfect date for any girl who requests him. His end goal is earning enough money to go to an Ivy League, but his real journey is about finding himself. Whoa.

His love interest, Celia Lieberman (Laura Marano) is a typical rebellious girl. Unlike the other girls at her school, she wears leather jackets and boots so you can tell she’s quirky and different. She’s the first girl Brooks escorts for money, and she gives him the idea for his app.

The main issue with this premise is that it’s hard to believe that that many women would pay for an escort. I feel like the majority of people would just ask their friends to events, instead of hiring a teenage stranger off the internet. It feels a little sad that all of them don’t have any other options, or feel pressured to bring a date to all these events.

But anyway, Brooks is hugely popular, priding himself on changing personalities, being whatever people want him to be. But who does he want to be? Whoa. Deep. Celia helps him with this, even as he’s trying to pursue her classmate, Shelby (Camila Mendes) who’s popular and pretty.

Brooks apparently also has huge issues with being perceived as poor, even though he seems solidly middle class — he’s going to get a full ride to college, just not the college he wants — he has a car and his house seems pretty nice.

He acts like a jerk in his obsession with getting the best of the best, being mean to his depressed dad because he sees him as a failure, ignoring his friend and treating Shelby as a trophy instead of a person. This guy might honestly need some therapy, especially with how changeable his personality is.

While the general plot isn’t great, there were some redeeming qualities. The side characters are really funny, especially Brooks’ mopey dad and his best friend, Murph (Odiseas Georgiadis) who creates the app and is hilariously bad at talking to his crush.

There’s also some funny moments, like the montage of Brooks dressed as different personas and his dialogue with Murph as they work together at their part-time job at a sandwich shop. There’s a lot of upbeat energy in the movie, and Noah Centineo really shines in his role.

Unfortunately, even the quality of acting can’t fix this movie. Despite attempts to shake things up, the movie is just OK.

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