Netflix has had continuous blow-out success with its original content over the past year, especially in the teen romantic comedy department, but it seems Netflix is starting the Noah Centineo Cinematic Universe: with his latest role in The Perfect Date. Much like previous 2018 Netflix teen romantic comedies such as The Kissing Booth and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser – you’re either going to love The Perfect Date or wish it never existed. Noah Centineo is no stranger to portraying a teen heartthrob, as he had previously graced our television screens with his lovable portrayal of Peter Kavinsky in Netflix’s more critically acclaimed and generally likable teen rom-com, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. In The Perfect Date, Centineo stars as Brooks Rattigan (which is repeated way too many times in the film, as if we would ever forget a name like that), a high school student with big hopes and dreams of getting into Yale University and living an upper-class lifestyle – something he can’t afford. To raise money for school, he creates an app that pairs him up with girls in need of the “perfect date”. The characters of Kavinsky and Rattigan don’t seem to have much in common, which proves that Centineo has excellent versatility – even if he is playing a similar type of stereotypical male protagonist.
Two other notable performances are from Laura Marano and Riverdale star Camila Mendes, two of Brooks’ love interests in the film. Centineo has great chemistry with both actresses, but the energy of the two women steal the show right off the bat. Their performances are so great that I would have liked to have seen more of them, learn more about them, and why they made the choices they did in the film, but since the story is told from Brooks’ perspective and only his view, there were zero flavors. The whole point of The Perfect Date is that Brooks is excellent at becoming whom other people want him to be, but as he’s continuously faking it, he has no time to figure out whom he wants to be. He repeatedly falls victim to the rule of society and people he thinks will increase his popularity. Furthermore, the best part of The Perfect Date was the genuineness of the chemistry between the actors. If there were a few more scenes to connect with or relate to, or even if the writers gave the characters some depth (you can 100% tell that a middle-aged man wrote this), I think this film would excel more in what it is trying to do.
The Perfect Date is Noah Centineo’s third film with Netflix in the past year that includes the ‘fake-dating’ trope, and I think it’s safe to say it won’t be his last. If you look past the casting and cliché movie tropes that everyone loves, there is very little about The Perfect Date that lives up to Centineo’s previously and universally loved performance in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. You cannot compare the two.
All in all, The Perfect Date is the perfect film to watch on a boring Friday night when you have nothing else to do. If you are looking for a film to make you reminiscent of cult-classics such as 10 Things I Hate About You or Clueless, don’t waste your time.
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