Of the many teen rom-coms on Netflix, ‘The Perfect Date’ is one of the better options for you to watch. Starring Noah Centineo in the lead role, it follows the story of a teenager who comes up with an ingenious way to make money for himself. His idea works rather well, but this quest to have better things in life leaves him lonely and friendless by the end. This is also when he learns the most important lesson in his life. If you haven’t seen the film yet, head over to Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD
Brooks Rattigan wants to go to Yale. He has the grades for it, but he doesn’t have the money or the connection. In an attempt to make some quick bucks for this purpose, he comes up with an app where he can be a plus-one for parties, school formals, or any other function. The idea comes to him when he is paid to be the plus-one of Celia Liebermann, a rich cousin of one of his classmates. He also harbors a crush on a girl named Shelby and hopes to secure a date with her, while Celia fancies a boy named Franklin.
Things had been well on their way with Brooks as he prepared to go to Yale. The interview that Celia had helped him with got him in the good graces of the Dean, and with the stand-in app, he had covered a lot of ground regarding the tuition. A few more dates and he would be all set to start at Yale after graduation. Despite success being so close to him, Brooks falls into a spiral of self-doubt and contemplates the decisions he has made in the past couple of months.
When he needed the app, he turned towards Murph, his best friend, who did not blink an eye before helping him. But as he started getting dates and got caught up in his new routine, he forgot to pay attention to his friend and find out what was going on with him. As a result, Murph started to feel increasingly distant from him and eventually decided to maintain a permanent distance from Brooks. Something similar happens with Celia, as well.
Despite their differences, Celia and Brooks had hit it off on their first meeting. They quickly became good friends and were even supportive of each other in pursuing their crushes. Celia tried to get in the good graces of Franklin, and Brooks tried to woo Shelby. When they thought they had done enough to reel in their love interests, they decided to break-off their fake relationship. However, in his attempt to make it look and feel real, Brooks used the inside information he had on Celia. Previously, she had told him, in confidence, how isolated she would feel and that her parents believed that she tried to push people away. To make his act look real, Brooks used this fact to humiliate Celia in public, not giving any thought to how it would make her feel.
So, even when he had his path paved for Yale, he had lost two of the most important friendships in his life. But he doesn’t realize the error of his ways until much later. After breaking off with Celia, he gets a date with Shelby and agrees to accompany her to the dance at school. However, he is unable to talk to her the way he would with Celia. He realizes that they are two very different people, and soon enough, Shelby discovers that as well.
At the dance, one of the girls, whom Brooks had helped previously with his fake date, recognizes him. In thanking him, she reveals his secret to Shelby. As a result, he is forced to come clean about his background and his work. Shelby dumps him on the spot, telling him that the break-up doesn’t have to do with the fact that she is rich, it is because he is a bad person. He gets another lesson at his bad behavior when he sees Celia. He tries to patch things up with her and asks her to dance with him, but she decides to stay away.
Finding himself friendless, Brooks talks to his father about the identity crisis that he has had because of the app. His father’s words stir him into action and he decides to find a way to patch up with Murph and Celia. While Murph lets go of his anger fairly quickly, it is Celia whom he needs to appease better. He frames a letter for her, just as he would for his college application, saying sorry for what he did and hoping to be friends with her again.
In the end, it is revealed that Brooks decided not to go to Yale. If he’d have to pretend to be someone else to get what he wants, it was most probably not worth it. He also realizes that he had been looking at life in terms of money, wealth, rich girlfriend, and an Ivy League college. These were the standards he had set for himself, believing that they would bring him happiness, but it wasn’t so. He opts for UConn, where he has been accepted with a full scholarship. He is forgiven by Celia, his father gets back into his career with a new grant, and he can finally be who he truly is now.
Read More: Movies Like The Perfect Date