“It’s okay for things to be messy sometimes.”Sheila
Perhaps writer Noga Pnueli was giving herself permission for the messy blend of ideas in Meet Cute, which is likely to be mistaken for a romcom — particularly with Kaley Cuoco and Pete Davidson in lead roles — when it is really a high concept drama using time travel as a mechanic to explore issues in a similar way to Richard Curtis’ endearing About Time. Sheila is obsessed with reliving the same chance meeting and first date over and over, despite the apparent futility of never experiencing the rest of the relationship. This serves as multiple metaphors over the course of the film: firstly, how familiarity breeds contempt in a relationship; and secondly, how despair can drive us toward the safety of the familiar at the expense of growth. This mental health angle is the film’s most novel idea but it is also the most weakly developed. Meet Cute’s time travel is forgivably broken since it is never treated seriously — the tanning bed gives Hot Tub Time Machine competition for dumbest vessel. The insurmountable issue is that its two leads both bring considerable charm to the screen but lack any chemistry with one another, particularly by comparison to Lehmann’s previous connection drama in Blue Jay. Without audience investment in the relationship, Meet Cute lacks a solid foundation on which the rest of its ideas can build — it’s okay for things to be messy sometimes, but only okay.