After buying a coffee at the kiosk on the corner of her house, Sheila (Kaley Cuoco) is violently run over – and on purpose – by herself, aboard a car that ends up stained with the hot drink. How is this explained? The driver of the vehicle is a time traveler who has the ability to go back 24 hours and repeat, until eternity, her entire day.
How does Sheila take advantage of this resource –not at all new in the cinema, but always tempting for viewers– that she gets into a time machine that June (Deborah S. Craig), her stylist friend, keeps in a local beauty? In going out over and over again with Gary (Pete Davidson), the guy she fell in love with one night at her favorite bar.
United, each of the elements already described, make up the basic idea of ”an almost perfect date”, a romantic comedy directed by Alex Lehmann that premiered on Peacock (streaming network in the United States) in the last quarter of 2022 and has just arrived in Latin America thanks to Amazon Prime Video.
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At an hour and a half long, the film has very few resources for analysis. His characters can barely be counted on the fingers of one hand. The same goes for their locations (New York is the central focus of the love story). Clearly, we are facing a proposal that is sustained by the impact that the dilemmas that arise between its protagonists can generate.
Sheila arrives every night at the bar of her choice and, after joking with the bartender, she decides to approach Gary, touching him on any topic. That easy she begins a rapprochement that is always interrupted for the same reason: she confesses to him that she is “a time traveler”. And although the reaction of the character played by comedian Pete Davidson is what any of us would have (like playing along with an interesting and beautiful lady), we see a slight attempt (from the script) to go further.
There are some details that cannot be ignored when commenting on this tape. From a technical point of view, the dark tone that accompanies each meeting between Gary and Sheila is undeniably a success, since it generates the idea that almost the entire story takes place in the same night. Along the same lines, from the stages and locations, “an almost perfect date” is at times a love letter to New York. The Manhattan Bridge, the imposing buildings, many international food restaurants and, of course, the presence of immigrants, certainly make everything more convincing.
Little by little, however, the strengths of the tape are being exhausted. When Sheila confesses to Gary that her power is not to come back 24 hours (literally) but to be 24 hours whenever she wants, everything changes. The young woman ends up revealing that she “traveled” more than once to Gary’s childhood and adolescence to “correct” errors in the formation of her personality. Here love (if such a feeling exists at this point) stumbles because, like any of us, the protagonist of that film feels cheated.
“Don’t worry, you won’t remember all of this tomorrow,” Sheila tells Gary when he loses it in an argument. From here we have another movie. He confesses that at times she seems to him the best person in the world, but at other times “they just want to push her onto the train tracks.” Typical love arguments that, as with other elements of the tape, are repeated as a “hellish loop.”
How legitimate is it (if this were possible) to want to upset the past of the beings we love to make them almost ‘perfect’ people for the sake of our relationship? Alex Lehmann’s film has moments in which this question seeks to challenge us. Characters like June are submerged in this purpose, and if she has a single contribution throughout 90 minutes, it is her phrase “Many times people bring pain, and that marks you, it leaves a scar on your soul. You have to live with it, you can’t fix it. If you erase the pain, you erase the person.”
From an interpretive point of view, the distance between Kaley Cuoco and Pete Davidson is as great as the Manhattan bridge itself. On screens we have a girl who, prey to her emotional weaknesses, tries to achieve happiness using an extraordinary resource. For this, the star of the remembered series “The Big Bang Theory” shows experience and presence.
Quite the opposite, it happens with comedian Pete Davidson. This is not his first film, and everything indicates that Hollywood wants to offer many more opportunities to this unconventional heartthrob (he regularly appeared in the tabloids for his high-profile romances with celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Ariana Grande). So, if the lanky and scruffy actor wants not to be nominated year after year at the Razzie Awards (which recognize the worst in cinema), he must focus on preparing himself even more, so that his voice, his looks, his movements and his gestures on screen are taken a little more seriously.
Although the story ofan almost perfect date”complies if we talk about the romantic aura, the truth is that its (several and inexplicable) turns, the disparity in terms of the performances of its protagonists, or decisions that border on ridiculous (such as eternally repeating Sheila’s “outrage” to her “me from the past” or showing her getting into the ‘time machine’ successively), result in a final balance that is clearly unsatisfactory.
AN ALMOST PERFECT DATE/ AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
Director: Alex Lehmann
List: Kaley Cuoco, Pete Davidson, Kevin Corrigan, Rock Kohli, Deborah Craig
Synopsis: When Sheila and Gary meet, it’s love at first sight… but their magical meeting wasn’t fate at all. Sheila has been traveling in a time machine and the couple fall in love over and over and over again. However, when this dreamy night is no longer enough, Sheila travels back in time to make Gary the perfect man.