Netflix’s ‘The Perfect Date’ Movie Review
Noah Centineo continues to impress with a natural on-screen presence in a movie that is predictable and formulaic, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Netflix seems to have a massive crush on Noah Centineo, and honestly, I can’t really hold it against them. First seeing him as a pretty 2-dimensional jock character in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, he seemed fine. But in the Netflix original The Perfect Date, he’s pretty damn charming.
Now I, at first, felt weird watching, enjoying and even appreciating The Perfect Date, despite being fully aware that I am not the target audience for this film. But a good movie is a good movie guys. And I’m enjoying this sort of resurgence of the smart and natural teen romantic comedies where the kids look like kids, and deal with kid problems and aren’t quoting Nietzsche. I’m looking at you, every-show-on-The-CW!
The premise of The Perfect Date is pretty basic but upgraded for the social media era. Middle-class Brooks (Noah Centineo) dreams of applying to Yale to escape his middle-class existence. So he works hard, saves up and focuses on nothing else really. So when he overhears a school-mate mention that he’s being paid to take his cousin to a dance, Brooks offers himself, in exchange for the same payment.
His ‘date’ with Celia (Laura Marano) is a smashing success as the two hit it off, pretty platonically, and Brooks ends up all the richer for it. Cut to the light bulb moment where Brooks now ends up creating an app to offer his services of being the perfect date to anyone willing to pay.
Now hold on. Drop those eyebrows. Brooks’ offer is purely to accompany girls as a chaperone or plus-one, providing them with a dating experience of their choosing, nothing more. As Brooks’ best friend Murph (Odiseas Georgiadis) points out, anything else would be illegal and include jail time.
The idea works. Brooks is inundated with offers from girls of a diverse variety with totally different reasons for wanting to hire a date. One girl wants him to be a total douche to her parents, thereby softening the blow when she introduces them to her actual boyfriend. Another girl simply wants to practice her own dating skills. It’s honestly incredibly sweet, heartfelt and hilarious at times, and definitely steers away from the incredibly easy inappropriate territories.
Now the story takes predictable turns. The girl that Brook’s likes, Shelby (Camila Mendes) is way out of his league, so this new-found cash also helps him charm his way into her good books. While Celia, his new found friend, has trouble with how far Brooks takes this whole, being-someone-else-to-please-others routine. We all know how it’s going to end and who Brooks will eventually end up with, but it’s still pretty fun to see it all unfold.
The Perfect Date has many other subplots that are briefly touched upon, and even resolved, without seeming muddled or too overly complicated. The movie knows it has a simple premise and doesn’t try to stray too far out of its own boundaries.
Centineo can easily carry a movie on his own shoulders. The kid is supremely charming, but not in an arrogant or egotistical way. Unlike most teen heartthrobs, the kid seems to be pretty grounded, and have absolutely no airs or seem to try too hard at all. Granted, I may have formed this opinion based on some of his social media presen
The Perfect Date is a super light and breezy watch for romantic comedy enthusiasts or audiences who just like a quick and light-hearted teen romance flick.
The Perfect Date is now streaming on Netflix.