It would appear there is room for more than one time-travel rom-com, as Pete Davidson and Kaley Cuoco’s Meet Cute joins the quirky and unconventional ranks next to 2020’s Palm Springs. Have you ever wanted to relive a day over and over? “Nail Me” salon may have exactly what you need! Meet Cute takes an easy premise and runs with it, forming two core characters that just make sense together—even despite one of them clearly out for sabotage, and being potentially mentally unstable. Sci-fi meets romance in this unforgettable dark comedy!
Today has been mostly the same for nearly five months now. It always begins an identical way—first, Sheila (Cuoco, Charmed, The Big Bang Theory) hits and kills the past version of herself with her car. Next, she heads to the local bar, wherein she stares longingly at Gary (Davidson, Bodies Bodies Bodies, The King of Staten Island) before joining him for an alcoholic beverage. They spend the night together, heading to a flashy Indian restaurant, eating deconstructed ice cream cones from a food truck for dessert, schmoozing at a German beer garden, and finally bringing their night to a close with a fond farewell.
When we first meet Sheila and Gary, Sheila is right at the beginning of her daily cycle. Sheila is an executive producer’s assistant for work, while Gary is a freelance graphic designer who works from home. She is constantly telling Gary throughout their date that she is a time traveler, and each subsequent date, another layer of her greater story is revealed. Meet Cute gives us an interesting hook in that Sheila’s time traveling appears to only allow her to go 24 hours into the past, thus willingly participating in a cycle of repeating the exact same day. While we have seen plenty of movies where characters are stuck in a loop of repetition, I don’t believe any of them have ever been voluntary.
Sheila and Gary’s dates are filled with self-deprecating humor, and bubble over with excellent chemistry. He jokes that people “say I remind them of Leonardo DiCaprio, like in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” It becomes clear to see why Sheila is so obsessed with Gary, and repeating this perfect day between them over and over again. Meet Cute’s story grows more complex as Sheila’s own does in tandem. Sheila reigns in their one-year anniversary alone, celebrating with no one but herself since she never allows Gary to remember their dates. Once we finally uncover Sheila’s backstory, her often toxic actions make way more sense in retrospect.
Meet Cute eventually gives way to a hopeful and heartwarming ending. Bloopers and alternate takes that unfold during the credits also left me with a constant smile on my face. Davidson and Cuoco do the majority of the heavy lifting—I was fully rooting for their romance to succeed well before clever twists unspooled across the narrative. Audiences at large may not respond in quite the same manner, but for this viewer anyway, Meet Cute breathes fresh live into a genre overflowing with content.
Meet Cute sets up the perfect match when it debuts exclusively to Peacock on Wednesday, September 21st.
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