Fluffy but Fun Rom-Com
Noah Centineo and Laura Marano, co-stars of The Perfect Date, are perfectly cast in this romantic comedy about how friendship can turn into something even stronger. I became a Centineo fan while watching To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Happily, he lives up to my expectations in his second “teenage boyfriend” outing. Still, here’s hoping this charismatic young star takes on more mature roles soon. He can’t play these youthful parts too much longer. And, although Marano is new to me, she had no trouble earning my admiration for her sassy performance in this fluffy but fun Netflix offering. Watch for Marano’s dance scenes. I can't help chuckling just thinking about her unique moves.
The Perfect Date includes most of those old romantic comedy “musts” -- like meeting cute. These two high school students first see each other when Centineo’s character agrees to help a friend out of a difficult situation by serving as an escort for one of the girls involved (and that’s Marano’s character). Of course, they don’t hit it off right away (another rom-com essential). But as their relationship continues, they seem to click -- even more than they realize (yep, rom-com requirement number three).
While not quite up to When Harry Met Sally caliber, the way these rom-com necessities are presented in The Perfect Date really worked for me, probably because I’m an incurable romantic. However, Chris Nelson’s sensitive direction and an engaging screenplay by Steve Bloom and Randall Green should get some recognition here, of course.
I appreciate this film’s straightforward storytelling (no flashbacks, flash forwards, parallel universes, etc.) as well as its lack of “R” rated language, violence, and graphic sex scenes. And the message about being your real self adds to the movie’s appeal for me. Finally, the cute push-pull chemistry between Centineo and Marano (you guessed it: another important rom-com “must”) sealed the deal for yours truly.
A teenage boy needs money fast.
With his new app, he might at last
save funds enough to go to Yale.
The Perfect Date concerns this male.
He hires out as a stand-in date
for any girl who’ll pay the rate.
Cowboy, art fan, or other role
except that of a gigolo.
Noah Centineo draws us in.
So all we want is him to win.
Projecting warmth, he makes us care
no matter what his choice of wear.
His co-star brings a lot of game.
Laura Marano deserves fame.
These two young stars shine brightly here.
For both of them, I gladly cheer.
A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked --- Bernard Meltzer
(For more information about The Perfect Date, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.)