Five Blind Dates (2024)

Five Blind Dates (2024)

A bland and boring “romcom” with too many blind spots than should be allowed

5.0

Movie

Australia, United States of America
English
Comedy, Romance
2024
SHAWN SEET
Desmond Chiam, Ilai Swindells, Jon Prasida
84 min

TLDR

Even a Disney romcom has more fun than this.

What it's about

With her business nearing bankruptcy, a tea shop owner decides to fulfill a fortuneteller’s reading: she must go on five dates to find her soulmate, who holds the answer to her life and career woes.

The take

Five Blind Dates is a squeaky clean, hopelessly boring film pretending to be a raunchy romcom. Despite Lia (Shuang Hu) going on five (or four, really) dates, she doesn’t find real chemistry with any one of them. There’s no heat, no passion, no inane fun to be had, or reckless experimentation. It’s clear that what she’s after isn’t really love but a partner who accepts her traditional whims, which I guess counts as a happy ending if this were airing on Hallmark or any other wholesome TV channel. But it isn’t, and instead of embracing its true form—that is, family drama—it instead postures as a modern and exciting romcom, even though it contains zero spice. To be fair, the film has its funny moments, and I do think the first date’s premise, while played for laughs, has the potential to spark an interesting discussion about our generation’s willingness to sacrifice intimacy for financial security. But the film doesn’t really go there, nor anywhere, and remains as stale and safe as can be.

What stands out

You know a romcom is bad when even the smallest illogical part of the story floats like a dead body on the pool (in good romcoms, those parts sink and are easy to forget). In this case, it’s the fact that all of Lia’s problems could have been avoided if she had just agreed to sell boba in her tea shop. Last time I checked, boba is still tea, not to mention an ingenious invention by the good people of Taiwan. “Milk does not belong in tea”? Okay, purist. Lia must be so fun to be with. While we’re at it, here’s another detail I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief for: how is Mason, fun-loving and gay Mason, best friends with Lia, bland, boba-hating, conservative Lia? Realistically, wouldn’t cool people want to hang with other cool people? Romcoms are rife with queer best friend tropes but this has to take the cake for the most nonsensical use of it.

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