I am combining two Netflix movie reviews into one because their isn’t a whole lot to say about each of these movies and I feel like the length of both of these will equal one theatrical review. So here we go (spoiler alert: one review is kind and one review is not kind at all)
THE PERFECT DATE (Netflix)
THE PERFECT DATE just came out on April 12th 2019 on Netflix and completes what is being called the “Noah Centineo Trilogy”. No, this isn’t a real trilogy with the same character, it is three different movies, all on Netflix, that happen to star Noah Centineo. The first one was To All the Boys I’ve Loved before (saw it and really liked it), the second is Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (haven’t seen it, going to now though), and this film completes this so-called ‘trilogy.’ There is one thing that I can positively state: Noah Centineo is one charming ass motherfucker. And that’s why these movies work so well even though they are cliched as fuck as all get out chick flick rom-coms, is his performance. If this guy can charm the pants off a straight dude like me, you know he’s the real deal. If he and Laura Marano weren’t in this, and the chemistry wasn’t there between Centineo’s character and those around him, this movie wouldn’t work.
And the reason why it wouldn’t work is because the set up of the movie isn’t fully fleshed out and leaves a lot to be desired. The movie is about this guy, played by Centineo, who really wants to get into Yale after high school but needs to write a good admission essay and needs the money. After being paid to be on a date with a high school hot shot’s cousin (played by Laura Marano), he and his friend create an app where he will be a “stand-in” on a date. No, he’s not a pimp and none of these dates are sexual, the app is designed for women to choose what kind of personality he is to be, how’s he’s dressed, what kind of function he’s going to go to, for some kind of purpose. Maybe the girl wants her parents to hate the stand-in so that when she reveals her real boyfriend, they’ll accept the guy, or a girl wants to go on a pretend date so that she’s not nervous when she actually starts dating, or the girl just wants someone to talk to.
All of this sounds interesting right? Well, there is basically one montage of him being this stand-in and becoming these people that lasts about maybe 4 to 5 minutes, and that is it. We really don’t see him doing it all that much, instead the movie switches gears fast to get to the journey and endgame of whether or not he gets the money, gets into yale, and gets the girl he has a crush on (Camila Mendes from Riverdale). And I think the main problem is that at just 90 minutes, the movie is too short. If 15 to 20 minutes were added of showing him going on several full fledged stand in dates, mainly for the audience to get invested with the premise, it would’ve been great. They could’ve thrown a girl wanting sex from him at the end of the night or a girl falling in love with him kind of problem and done more with the app. Instead, the app literally has no problems, and the friend gets attention from his app making skills. Too tied up in a complete bow. In this day and age, there is no way a app like that would go smoothly.
But I realize it is a rom-com, and its a Netflix original, and it is predictable as hell, which means that it isn’t going to go that deep, so you have to judge the film on whether it entertained you or not and whether or not it is better than films in that same genre. And in that case, it is. Noah is charming as fuck, the dialogue (at times) feels like high school kids actually talking to one another, and the 90 minutes flies by with how entertaining it is. So as far as Netflix originals go, I’d definitely would recommend that you check this one out, it’s quaint and charming.
THE LAST LAUGH
What isn’t so quaint and charming is this other Netflix original that was released early January, THE LAST LAUGH. Since I guess we are counting Netflix films now in movies seen and top ten or top worsts lists, this now beats Pet Sematary as worst film of the year. I am not going to talk about it too long because that’s how terrible it was. It stars Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss as old friends that meet up when Chase is sent by his granddaughter to live in a retirement home. They are old friends as that Dreyfuss’ characters was a comedian doing stand up acts 50 years ago and Chase was his manager. As they see people they love dying around them, but Dreyfuss’ character as ‘funny’ as ever cracking jokes, Chase takes Dreyfuss out on the road to do a stand-up comedian comeback type of thing. Past things and emotions come up, trouble endues, but you know how it is going to end, it is dull and painfully predictable as well.
I did not laugh once during this film. All the jokes are painfully unfunny and Dreyfuss doesn’t do a great job playing a character that was once a stand up comedian. Chevy Chase is worse here, looking like he doesn’t want to be there, and acting like he wants to go home and kill himself. All the performances in here are painfully dull. Chris Parnell as Dreyfuss’ son and Kate Micucci who plays Chase’s granddaughter are cringe worthy here. Terrible performances. I didn’t buy anything that was going on, especially one part where a older woman, played by Andie McDowell (wasted here) has a small love thing with Chase. They way that Chevy Chase just looks bored there and spits out his lines, there is no way any woman would go within 10 feet of that guy. Chevy Chase had that one great season on SNL, he had the Vacation movies, Fletch, and a couple of good moments on Community, but other than that, his career was a giant misfire. And still is. And he should be old enough to know when to call it quits. I expected more out of Richard Dreyfuss but maybe he’s at that age where he doesn’t care anymore and a paycheck is all he needs to get off his ass. This is one of the worse Netflix Originals since the awful Adam Sandler ones the past couple of years, and that is saying something.