Hey you. I wrote this Review Just for You because I like you.I also like pizza.
F*cking white people…
Let’s find out.
White People Dancing.
Fresh and Fruity Synopsis
Fresh opens with a fresh-faced 20-something white girl on a date. Since the movie opens with a date we know this is going to go poorly because dates that open the movie never go well.
Our heroine’s name is Noa (Anne Hathaway lookalike Daisy Edgar-Jones) and she really doesn’t like online dating. The guy she’s with right now is an ordeal to be with because he’s cheap and actually wants all the leftovers.
Needless to say, Noa will noa-t be going on a second date with him. Later she swipes left right and then left again and finds nobody that satisfies her. Until…
Noa is shopping for vegetables and has a meet-cute with a handsome stranger who wants her to try some grapes.
His name is Steve (Sebastian Stan- Avengers Infinity War and other movies in which he has a metal arm), and he’s just a normal person shopping for vegetables alone. Steve takes a risk and asks for Noa’s number.
Noa takes a chance on like and gives Steve her number. Nothing could possibly go wrong unless you took a look on this onesheet right before you began reading this review. Nothing ominous there.
Noa has a black best friend named Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) and her only purpose in life is to answer when Noa calls. Noa says she’s met a cute guy. Mollie is suspicious because that’s how minority sidekicks react in movies like this.
Noa and Steve go on a date. Noa confesses she hates the dating scene. Steve reveals he’s a plastic surgeon and that he has no forms of social media so Noa can’t cyberstalk him.
They hit it off. They dance. They have sex. Life will proceed in an upward trajectory because nothing bad will happen to Noa ever again. She should just delete all the dating apps from her phone right now.
Noa tells Mollie that Steve has no social media. Mollie is suspicious because that’s how minority sidekicks react in movies like this. Noa tells Mollie she and Steve copulated. They high-five but Mollie is still suspicious because that’s how one-dimensional sidekicks react in movies like this.
Steve and Noa have a getting-to-know-each-other montage so you know their relationship is progressing nicely. Steve suggests that they spend the weekend together in the country. Noa says yes because she likes Steve a lot and there’s nothing even the least bit sketchy about him despite what Mollie says and texts on a regular basis. What does Mollie know?
Noa texts Mollie that she and Steve are going away for the weekend. Noa also tells Mollie that she’s canceled her life insurance and is retiring from the police force and shows a wallet full of pictures of her kids.
Mollie is totally okay with everything because Steve sounds like a totally decent man and seems perfect for Noa.
Steve and Noa go to Steve’s nice-*ss house. Noa says she can’t get any reception on her phone and there’s no Wi-fi at Steve’s house. None of that will come into play later.
Steve and Noa have a nice dinner with some wine.
Noa passes out. She wakes up later to find herself chained to the floor in Steve’s rather large basement (such a cliché). Noa is scared, and she very well should be. Steve has plans for Noa involving…keeping her as fresh as possible for his clients.
Noa is terrified. But she hears voices. Turns out Noa isn’t the only woman Steve is keeping in the basement.
And then the opening credits roll.
What Works With Fresh
- Fresh(!) off her turn in the excellent millennial miniseries Normal People, Daisy Edgar-Jones gives Noa more depth than was probably on the page. Even though Noa isn’t given much to do but react for most of the second half of the movie, DEJ is a magnetic enough performer that you don’t care because she’s always interesting to watch.
- A phone call provides the movie’s only real instance of terror that you can’t see coming from 20 minutes away. Never has the Golden Girls theme song seemed so disturbing. Or maybe it was always disturbing.
What Doesn’t Work With Fresh
- After the steady building of suspense in the first act, the movie remains stagnant with scenes that don’t really go anywhere or are in any way truly suspenseful. Once Noa’s in the basement, most of Fresh turns into a movie you’ve seen before. There may be a surprise or two you might not see coming, but you have to wade through a lot of dead screentime to get there.
- White people dancing.
- Magical Negro Mollie is a trope that everyone involved in Fresh thought was a good idea to still use in 2022. I don’t know what the minority sidekick equivalent of the Bechdel test is, but Fresh does not pass it.
- White people dancing sequence part 2.
A well-acted horror movie that’s mostly devoid of horror in the second half. You’ve seen too many movies like this to be surprised by anything that happens. Fresh is watchable but ultimately stale.
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© 2022 Noel Penaflor