The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers
Noah Centineo (aka everyone's internet boyfriend) plays Brooks Rattigan, an average boy who has big dreams of going to Yale. After volunteering to go on a paid date with Celia (Laura Marano), he comes up with the idea of raising funds for college by launching an app—with the help of his best friend Murph (Odiseas Georgiadis)—where girls can rent him as their stand-in date. He meets popular rich girl Shelby (Camila Mendes) during one of his "services" and teams up with Laura to get her attention.
The Short, Honest Plot
It's a cute rom-com that digs deep on issues most of today's generation deal with. In a time where being exceptional and successful takes front and center (thanks, social media), the movie makes its viewers reconsider their perception of self-worth and sense of identity.
The Actors And Where You Last Saw Them
Noah Centineo as Brooks
The breakout artist first shot to fame in Netflix's adaptation of To All the Boys I've Loved Before, but he appeared last on Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, another Netflix Original film. You may have also seen his larger than life billboards along EDSA after he was named as one of the global ambassadors of a local clothing and lifestyle brand.
Laura Marano as Celia
Disney alum Laura Marano last starred in award-winning film Lady Bird as Diana Greenway. The 23-year-old actress also worked on a couple of Disney productions like Austin & Ally and Bad Hair Day. Also a musician, she recently released her independent single "Me" in 2018.
Camila Mendes as Shelby
Who doesn't know Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge in Riverdale? Though well-known in the small screen, Camila actually made her big screen debut last year in the rom-com Canadian movie The New Romantic.
Odiseas Georgiadis as Murph
Playing Robin to Noah's Batman in the movie is Odiseas Georgiadis, a newcomer that has also appeared in the Fox series Gotham. He also made an appearance in the Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep-led film, The Post.
Did You Know?
1. This isn't the first time Noah Centineo and Laura Marano worked together. Both appeared in the Disney series Austin & Ally where Laura played one of the leads.
2. Unlike his first two Netflix films (To All The Boys I've Loved Before and Sierra Burgess Is A Loser) which are both book adaptations, The Perfect Date is Noah's first movie with an original screenplay under the streaming giant.
3. In case you haven't noticed yet, this is the second Netflix film where Noah plays the role of a fake boyfriend—the first one being his breakout role as Peter Kavinksy in To All The Boys I've Loved Before.
What I Think:
As a self-proclaimed rom-com expert, I admit that I was only half-curious about the plot when Netflix first teased about it. To be honest, I was really more excited about the prospect of seeing Noah finally reaching peak boyfriend status by playing as a for-rent fake BF in the movie. Other than that, I shelved it off as a typical rom-com with the expected ending.
Long story short, I am glad to say that my initial perception is only half-true. Yes, the story has all the cliches you expect in this genre, and yes, I made the correct guess for the movie's ending. But what I didn't count on is how the plot actually makes you ask serious questions about confidence, identity, and your definition of what is good, nice, or cool. In a time where social media plays a big role in defining our self-worth, The Perfect Date digs a little deeper to show its viewers that sometimes, what we think we want is just a reflection of what society defines as "perfect."
Execution-wise, the movie does adapt all the classic elements of the modern rom-com. There's the killer playlist, the smart best friend, and the flawless, witty exchanges between the leads. On the other hand, I also felt like that they could have done a better job in emphasizing certain elements of the story, like going deeper in exploring and showing the motivations of the characters. I also felt like there should have been more sequences showing Noah as a stand-in boyfriend than the montage we got. Or... maybe that's just my big crush on him talking, IDK.
As for the final verdict, I'd still recommend this to be added to your Netflix playlist. Noah's hot visuals and swoon-worthy acting aside, the movie still does a pretty good job in packaging itself as a timely rom-com for this generation.
What My Friend Thinks:
"It definitely has the right amount of kilig. The chemistry between the leads is undeniable, and I think a lot of people can relate to the plot. Yes, it's a little cliche, but you can learn a lot from it especially when it comes to understanding the real definition of 'perfect.'
"Character-wise, I like Celia. She's a breath of fresh air and an empowering example to women who think that being different is uncool. I also like how the movie shows that relationships are all about chemistry. It gets real about the idea of having an "ideal type," which I think a lot of people can find relatable. Overall, I like the movie's message of the importance of being true to yourself." —Janine
I'd Recommend It To:
- People who love modern-day rom-coms
- People who love Noah Centineo (because DUH)