Five Blind Dates

Five Blind Dates
Five Blind Dates
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Five Blind Dates, the Prime Video romantic comedy was made for those who love dating reality shows—The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Love at First Sight and 90 Day Fiance. Five Blind Dates combines these elements for its main character who wants to find love on their own terms.

The script follows Lia (Ronny Chieng: International Student’s Shuang Hu), a Chinese Australian woman who runs a fine tea shop. She yells at anyone ordering bubble tea, calling it the macarena of liquid herbal delights. Her best friend Mason (Ilai Swindells) tells her everyone loves the macarena. (How old is this script or does Los Del Río just bang down under?)

Lia flies back home for her sister’s wedding and realizes she can’t go alone. She adds that her failing tea shop will only succeed once she gets her personal life in order. (Yeah, I didn’t get that thought process either.) Her father (Tigertail’s Tzi Ma) sets her up with a billionaire (Desmond Chiam), and her mother Jing (Renee Lim) sets her up with an old man who likes old things.

Then Lia runs into Richard (Plane’s Yoson An), the best man at the wedding and her childhood friend. Like all good romantic comedies they cutely run into each other in the script. Of course it’s at a costume party where she spills her drink on him. Richard is dressed as Ducky from Pretty in Pink and Lia is wearing a black suit. Instead of guessing she’s Elwood from Blues Brothers he correctly guesses Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs.

To be honest I thought if they could guess each other’s favorite movie characters they should’ve eloped right then and there but that’s Five Blind Dates for you and nobody makes an apology about it being anything else. Directed by Shawn Seet (The Code) and written by Hu and Nathan Ramos-Park (Ero) it ends exactly how you think it does.

This will be fine for everyone who is a genre fan, it just doesn’t have that pleasure of letting the story unfold in front of you. The real draw here is Hu’s charming performance as she gets put through the emotional wringer both privately and professionally, and the comedic scenarios that come out of them. Hu and An have an undeniable romantic tension, and the chemistry translates to screen.

Five Blind Dates is only worth watching if you’re a genre fan. Or at least looking for a light quick diversion. The script is full of tropes, such as the outgoing best friend who borders on annoying. Additionally, you have your typical cardboard cutout male supporting characters. (Although Chiam’s Apollo is particularly amusing.) But this is what we were expecting here.

The film has a nice balance though. The almost completely Asian ensemble is cast perfectly. There are a few nice cultural touches employed in the script, including why Lia finds her business so important. At its core though this movie is about reconnecting with family as a central character alleviates their professional lives with their personal ones.

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