“Meet Cute” Movie Review

posted September 26, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Sophia D’Ovidio

Romantic comedies are consistently the most beloved and overlooked movie genre. These films seemed to have been pushed aside in the past decade with a recent resurgence in the past few years. 

So in this new era of the rom-com renaissance, the latest addition came this past Wednesday on Peacock with the movie “Meet Cute.”

Starring Kaley Cuoco and Pete Davidson as Sheila and Gary, the two characters are shown on a first date that is awkward (like most) but charming and endearing.

Throughout the date, it is made evident that something is off, and it isn’t just that things are awkward.

That off-putting vibe from the date is that Sheila is a time traveler. The joke she made in their meeting about being from the future is true.

It is revealed that Sheila has been continuously reliving this day to have this perfect meet cute (yeah, like the movie title) and consequent first date.

Rather than attempting to have some sort of future with Gary, she opts to endlessly meet and go out on almost the same date with Gary repeatedly.

While she is at first convinced this is a perfect life, she realizes that there is only so much a person can connect with someone they just met.

“Meet Cute” is a good movie that manages to be rather powerful at times, something definitely not expected at first.

The film deals with dark themes like mental illness and suicide. Though it never feels depressing, talking about these topics casually was a brilliant move because that's how most people dealing with those issues feel comfortable talking about them.

Cuoco and Davidson didn’t just have fantastic chemistry, but both gave stellar performances in their own right.

Cuoco is the star of this film. Sheila shouldn’t be a likable character, and at points, the movie makes it clear that the audience should be rooting against her.

Nevertheless, Cuoco is a brilliant and captivating lead. Her performance is the heart and soul of this film. If anything, “Meet Cute” should begin a campaign to cast Cuoco in more rom-coms.

People may expect a subpar performance from Davidson due to most of the information about him surrounding his dating life and not his professional pursuits.

Is Davidson stretching much from his roles in “Big Time Adolescence” or “King of Staten Island”? No. But that’s not what this role is asking of him.

Davidson grounds this film, his character often offering a voice for the audience during the movie's events and continues to be as charming as ever.

“Meet Cute” was shot rather beautifully. The aesthetics were extremely familiar and made the film engaging with a familiar vibe.

The movie is packaged as a rom-com but dealing with much darker issues is definitely what makes the film compelling.

There are really only two valid criticisms of “Meet Cute.”

How the film ends calls into question the level of obsession that is healthy in a relationship. The kind of message the movie's resolution sends isn’t necessarily positive.

This could be partially due to how short “Meet Cute” is, clocking in at an 89-minute run time. This movie didn’t need to be longer; in fact, most films should be shorter than they are.

“Meet Cute” didn’t feel rushed at the end in terms of the plot but rather the character's development. This isn’t something that maybe needed an extra 10 minutes to solve, but perhaps a different ending would’ve provided for a more rational conclusion.

The other issue with “Meet Cute” is its sub-genre of being a time-loop romantic comedy.

Conceptually, “Meet Cute” draws a plethora of comparisons to classics like “Groundhogs Day” and “50 First Dates.” It’s also extremely similar to the recent critical and commercial success “Palm Springs.”

In theory, it is unfair to criticize “Meet Cute” for not being as good as these movies because it is still a good film.

There are definitely differences thematically and tonally between all these films, the most drastic being that Sheila decides to keep reliving the same day, which isn’t the case in the other movies.

It’s just that “Palm Springs” just came out a little over two years ago, and the parallels make the films too easy to compare.

The previously stated time-loop trope, a darker and more cynical tone than most romantic comedies, an open-for-interpretation ending, being released on a streaming service and even an “SNL” alumni in a starring role.

The thing is “Palm Springs” was excellent and “Meet Cute” was good. Upon realizing one is a Hulu original and the other is a Peacock original, that comparison tracks.

While watching “Meet Cute” was enjoyable and amusing, the movie is likely not going to be one to stand the test of time. Not even within the sub-genre of time-loop romantic comedies.

But should movies have to be groundbreaking and genre-defining to be high quality? No. It does feel like “Meet Cute” maybe had the opportunity to be, but realistically the team behind the film likely didn’t have that as its end goal.

“Meet Cute” is charming and fun; it can sometimes get dark but balances thoughtfully, representing its issues and dark comedy well.

The film is sharp and is aware of itself and its goal from the beginning; the endless plot twists never feel cheap and are rewarding every time.

“Meet Cute” is a win for the B-tier streaming service Peacock, a seemingly down-on-his-luck Davidson and everyone involved in the production.

Will this movie make any lists of the best romantic comedies of all time? Probably not; it doesn’t take away from the fact that “Meet Cute” is a solid movie that knows its audience and is a solid addition to the rom-com renaissance ahead of us.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sophia D’Ovidio is a second-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email sgd5184@psu.edu.