Where I Watched It: Peacock
English Audio Description Available?: Yes
Time traveling comedies. We’ve seen a lot of them. None of them have quite been MeetCute, which demands quite a lot from its audience in order to get to the romcom angle if you ever have a hope of accepting your traditional romcom ending. Watching this film all the way through reminded me of back in the day my feelings on The Break up, that long forgotten Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn romcom that somewhat deconstructed the genre, and ended on a sour note. Back then, I hated it. I disliked it because no matter how the film was titled, it was marketed a certain way, and it just became overly depressing to watch a couple in comedic fashion fall apart.
Cut to MeetCute, and we now have a film that takes a character (Kaley Cuoco) and introduces us to her in a traditional form. She’s quirky, she’s cute, and she’s from the future. Instead of having her just in some basic backstory, they really went for this bizarre plot that they never really establish, and becomes increasingly problematic. See, what you don’t get a lot of from the trailer where Cuoco keeps dating Pete Davidson is her traumatic backstory. Hell, we never get it either. We just find out that for no defined reason, she was suicidal, discovered time travel, and is now basically stalking Pete Davidson through time.
Not only does she repeat her date an unhealthy amount of times, but she also realizes she can travel to other points in time, and actually restructure Davidson until she has a companion that motivates her enough to not die. That is the literal plot of this film. Cuoco is suicidal and repetitively trying to get the perfect date/match out of Davidson so she has a reason to live.
Now that’s a romcom.
There’s not much adorable or cute about this once you pull back the curtain, and Cuoco starts to unravel much like she does so well on The Flight Attendant. But the big problem is that we know almost nothing about the moments before she stumbles into a nail salon and finds the tanning booth that sends her back in time. It never clearly defines the catalyst for her suicidal behavior, and puts a lot of unfair pressure on Davidson, who for his worth always has to reset. Every day for him is brand new, until he finally takes a leap at the end that sends him on a path to a rather uncomfortable ending. What this film asks of Davidson’s character is not healthy nor is it OK.
Aside from the fact that the entire film is problematic, the performances are quite good. Pete Davidson, known for playing a series of losers and screw ups, is handed the opportunity to prove himself has a romantic male lead, someone who is rather normal, charming and funny. Strangely enough, watching him achieve a performance that Matthew McConaughey would have been offered 20 years ago just shows the potential of his post-SNL career. It’s bright, despite this films incredibly dark tone.
Maybe they felt that by us knowing why she wants to kill herself, we won’t like her anymore, but that assumes we like her at all. While Cuoco does a great job just assimilating Cassy from The Flight attendant into this film, it’s still a weird fucking movie. The acting is on point, the film is a mess. Lucky for the film, I like pete Davidson, and seeing him in a different light pushed this slightly in a positive light, but only barely.
As far as the audio description goes, it does a fine job of making the notes, the little changes between each day, as well as some of the limited science fiction elements. This is a small cast film that is extremely repetitive, so the film lives and dies in the little changes.
It’s your life. I can’t strongly recommend this, but if you like these actors enough, you might enjoy this film somewhat.
Final Grade: C+