A date for disaster

New Netflix original  The Perfect Date was released on April 12.

photo by Netflix

New Netflix original “The Perfect Date” was released on April 12.

Tuna melts on seven grain bread and promises of a honey exchange are not the usual topics of  discussion for a teenage romantic comedy, yet in “The Perfect Date,” Netflix’s new original movie released on April 12, the script is quite unique. Despite these quirky subjects, “The Perfect Date” falls flat on its execution. What seemed to be a favorable storyline fails due to poor development of characters.

“The Perfect Date” focuses on character Brooks Rattigan, who sets up an  app with the token gay best friend Murph, offering to be a stand-in date with anyone who is willing to pay. Played by break-out actor Noah Centineo, Rattigan tries to pass off as a financially unstable student who is just trying to get into Yale. Unfortunately, while Centineo acts the part well, it is just  not believable. Rattigan owns his own car, has the money to repeatedly go shopping for new clothing, and often blows off studying to go various parties and dates. The plot gives Rattigan way too many layers as well, while barely taking time to explore each facet.

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In one instance, Rattigan’s relationship with his father is set up as tense and awkward, due to his mother leaving him at a young age and his father’s unemployment. These are somewhat  heavy topics, especially for what seems to be a light-hearted comedy. Instead of going in depth and giving any true emotion to Centineo’s role, the movie mentions this in passing conversations, almost as an afterthought.

Rattigan is not the only character who is poorly developed. One of the main love interests, rich girl Shelby Pace, played by Camila Mendes, altogether disappears with a half hour remaining in the movie. Pace had no real substance; her purpose, rather than contributing to the love story,  is to offset Rattigan’s middle class lifestyle with her lavish, entitled way of living.

With so much potential, “The Perfect Date” was an overall disappointing release. “The Perfect Date” had everything needed to be the next trending teen comedy, with a cast list comprised of up-and-coming celebrities and an interesting story line. For what it is worth, this date with Netflix was anything but perfect.