Meet Cute evaluation: Peacock’s time journey rom-com falls flat | Digital Trends

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Meet Cute needs to be a lot of things at once. The movie, which premieres exclusively on Peacock this week, is concurrently a manic time journey journey, playful romantic comedy, and dead-serious commentary on the messiness of romantic relationships. If that sounds like a lot for one low-budget rom-com to juggle — and throughout the span of 89 minutes, no much less — that’s as a result of it is. Thanks to the efficiency given by its recreation lead star, although, there are moments when Meet Cute comes near pulling off its distinctive tonal gambit.

Unfortunately, the film’s attempts to blend screwball comedy with open-hearted romanticism often come throughout as hackneyed rather than inspired. Behind the digicam, director Alex Lehmann fails to convey Meet Cute’s disparate emotional and comedic components collectively, and the film ultimately lacks the tonal management that it wants to find a way to focus on serious subjects like melancholy in the identical sequence that it throws out, say, a collection of slapstick costume gags.  The ensuing film is one which isn’t memorably absurd so much as it is mildly irritating.

Kaley Cuoco stands next to Pete Davidson in Peacock's Meet Cute.MKI Distribution Services/Peacock

Meet Cute’s incapability to add something of real worth to the romantic comedy style is made more disappointing by how promisingly it begins. The movie brings a refreshing, Groundhog Day-esque twist to its otherwise simple rom-com plot, and despite opening with a purposefully clichéd bar encounter between the movie’s two leads, Sheila (The Flight Attendant‘s Kaley Cuoco) and Gary (Pete Davidson, last seen in the Gen Z thriller Bodies, Bodies, Bodies), Meet Cute wisely doesn’t waste an extreme quantity of time earlier than throwing the mandatory wrench into its own story.

In this case, the wrench that complicates Meet Cute’s plot is a tanning mattress that allows its user to journey to any point up to now for simply 24 hours. The machine is stored in the backroom of a nail salon owned by the no-nonsense June (Deborah S. Craig), who just so occurs to enter into the orbit of Cuoco’s Sheila on one fateful day. A temporary flashback reveals how June launched Sheila to her time machine and it quickly becomes clear from that time on that the first date that opened Meet Cute wasn’t precisely what it seemed to be. At least, not for Sheila, who quickly and cheerfully tells Gary early on in Meet Cute that she’s begun utilizing June’s time machine to repeatedly relive their magical first date.

Her confession to Gary is certainly one of many moments in which Meet Cute uses Sheila’s tendency to overshare and throw caution to the wind to hurry by way of its essential pieces of exposition, but Cuoco, to her credit score, takes full advantage of her character’s high-strung vitality by chewing via each line she’s given. In fact, while it doesn’t take lengthy for Sheila’s manic energy to turn into grating, Cuoco’s go-for-broke performance steadily proves to be the one likable factor that Meet Cute has going for it.

Deborah S. Craig and Kaley Cuoco look into a tanning bed in Peacock's Meet Cute.MKI Distribution Services/Peacock

Opposite Cuoco, Davidson feels miscast as Gary, the shy and unassuming graphic designer who shortly finds himself sucked into Sheila’s whirlpool of romance. As the opposite half of the film’s central pair, Davidson does handle to match Cuoco’s infectiously absurd energy throughout Meet Cute’s extra outwardly comedic moments, but he has a more durable time promoting Gary’s handful of emotional outbursts. The movie itself also undercuts considered one of Gary’s largest moments by foreshadowing it far too closely throughout its first act.

That’s a shame, considering the scene in query had the potential to be one of the few genuine surprises in a movie that takes a more predictable journey than its time journey premise would have you imagine. It’s not long, for example, before Meet Cute forces Sheila to inform Gary about how her personal concern of disappointment has prevented her from actually exploring a relationship with him, and the arguments that ensue following that admission really feel suffocatingly overwritten.

The film’s breakneck pace additionally prevents it from investigating Sheila’s backstory as deeply as it ought to, which makes most of the very real points she’s fighting feel more like thinly sketched affectations than genuine emotional problems. The similar could be mentioned for a lot of Meet Cute, which frequently introduces a number of compelling ideas and genre subversions only to end up abandoning them in favor of telling a safer and extra predictable story.

The movie in the end evolves in much the identical method that the date at the heart of it does, which is to say that it begins off promisingly enough only to quickly turn into disappointingly repetitive and boring. Not even Cuoco’s charmingly fearless efficiency as its fragile lead is powerful enough to add a way of cohesion to Meet Cute’s numerous half-hearted detours. The movie is, in other words, one date you don’t have to worry about skipping.

Meet Cute premieres Friday, September 23 completely on Peacock.

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