On Friday, April 12, 2019, Netflix released another original rom-com, “The Perfect Date.” The film joins some of the more well-known Netflix offerings in the genre, including “The Kissing Booth” and “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”
One of the major themes in the movie revolves around realizing that although you may want the finer things in life, sometimes all you need to be happy is sticking with everything you already have. For the main character, Brooks Rattigan, played by Noah Centineo, these finer things are driving the hottest car, going to the best college, and dating the prettiest girl. After being able to experience all of these, Brooks decides to settle with a life that isn’t too far up in the clouds.
However, a few of the key points in the movie are forced in order to help the plot move along. For example, no one in high school would let an acquaintance take their car just to have their house alone with their significant other for a night, especially if it is a brand new BMW i8 and the acquaintance is already getting paid to take a girl to a formal.
There is also the fact that everything that is happening to Brooks seems to be a bit too good to be true. From the start we know that Brooks’ dream college is Yale University, and the other main character Celia Lieberman, played by Laura Marano, just happens to have connections with the president of Yale.
“The Perfect Date” also includes some other issues that make the movie feel more connected to everyday life. The first is the difficulty that many people go through in order to pay for college. This provides a basis for why Brooks moves forward with developing The Stand-In app to pay for his dream future at Yale University.
Other obstacles in the way of Brooks reaching his goal of attending Yale include having to write an application essay that is about something worthwhile in his life, as well as pressure from his father to attend the University of Connecticut. These events helped make the movie more realistic to viewers as these are common issues that arise when people are going through the college application and decision process.
There is also a lot of focus on the fact that you can never truly know what another person is going through. A few of the characters, including Brooks, have family problems that are hidden behind the fronts they maintain in public, and although these problems can surface through their personalities or their lifestyles, they can be easily shielded from others. You never truly know the story hidden behind someone’s smile.
The movie also criticizes social media and the culture surrounding it. Celia tells Brooks, “you think people actually go to a dance to dance? No, they come here to take pictures for their Instagram. I’m pretty sure that’s why people have babies too.” This seems to sum up the entire generation that has grown up in the world of Instagram and Snapchat. A lot of people nowadays focus on the image of their online self so much that it seems to dictate their life. “The Perfect Date” shows all the amazing things in life that can happen once one lifts his or her head up from the black hole of social media.
The most important thing to take away from the movie is the fact that you shouldn’t have to try to be someone you are not in order to feel accepted. Celia expresses to Brooks, “you’re just relying on external factors for your happiness, waiting for people to accept you instead of accepting yourself.” What people need to take away from this movie is that it isn’t the material objects you have that make you worthy, but rather you as a person that warrants the title. No one should have to pretend to be someone they are not in order to feel accepted, and it is because of this message that “The Perfect Date” is a movie that many people need to see.