Picture: The Perfect Date/Netflix
Picture: The Perfect Date/Netflix

Netflix's 'The Perfect Date' is a big fat yawn

By Helen Herimbi Time of article published May 2, 2019

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Here’s a question: how long is 22-year-old Noah Centineo going to portray a high school kid for? 

"In The Perfect Date," Centineo plays Brooks, a kid in high school who has one dream: to get into Yale.

But he’s broke and his dad is depressed since his mom left them for a rich man and has a new family now. He’s also really smart. Like, smart enough to be the perfect candidate for Yale on paper. But he also seems to have an emotional intelligence that makes it easy for him to make people, particularly girls, feel good.

It’s obvious when he is paid to be a school dance date of rebellious Celia (Laura Marano). If he can make that tough cookie crumble with his charm, then anything is possible.

Can he make money through this? Enough money to afford a spot at his dream Ivy League college? Brooks enlists the help of his nerdy friend Murph (Odiseas Goergiadis). They build an app that allows girls to hire him as the perfect stand-in for just about anything.

He sits on the couch for hours just listening to a girl talk. He puts on a disgustingly obnoxious persona in order to annoy a girl’s parents into letting her have a bad boy boyfriend who isn’t as bad as Brooks appears to be. He even pretends to be rich. In essence, he becomes the perfect date.

But, as in all romcoms, something goes wrong and Brooks must look in the mirror and decide if he likes who he has become or if he wants his old life back.

And it’s because this is the kind of movie we’ve seen in some or other form, that "The Perfect Date" is a yawn.

The romance is lacklustre. The writing is not creative comedy.

Like, when Brooks sees Celia’s cousin’s BMW i8 and he asks Brooks if he’d like to drive it, Brooks says yes. There’s an awkward moment that follows where the cousin laughs weirdly and the audience waits for him to have a smart retort but all he does is shake his head and repeat no.

Ultimately, "The Perfect Date" is imperfect in that it attempts a romcom formula that has been done much better in other places.

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