Peacock’s ‘Meet Cute’ is a romantic comedy that follows the story of Sheila who has decided to keep reliving her first date with Gary. Using a time machine, she goes back into the past by twenty-four hours and lives a different version of the date each day. In the beginning, it looks like a very romantic thing for her, but soon, as the layers of her past and her motivation to be stuck on the same day are revealed, the darker side of Sheila’s story comes out. While it was clear from the beginning that something heartbreaking in her life had prevented her from moving on, the second half of the film sheds more light on her struggle. In the end, she has to make an important decision. Here’s what it means for her. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Meet Cute Plot Synopsis
At a bar, Sheila sets her eyes on Gary. She offers to buy him a drink and this slowly moves on to become a proper date. While Gary is intrigued by Sheila, he can’t help but notice some things about her that come across as weird. She knows what kind of drink he likes and sometimes, knows exactly what he is going to say. Sheila explains this away by telling Gary that she is a time traveler. Gary doesn’t take her seriously and at the end of the date, hopes that they’ll meet again. She assures him that she’ll see him tomorrow. While Gary walks away, not quite knowing what to make of her, Sheila stays true to her word, and the next day, in the same bar, on the same day, she meets Gary for the first time, all over again.
Meet Cute Ending: Does Sheila Die?
While in most time loop movies, a person is generally stuck in a place involuntarily and can’t wait to get out of there, in ‘Meet Cute’, Sheila chooses to stay in one day forever. What starts as a chance to experience something new, just once, turns into her spending the same day with Gary for weeks that turn into months. She spends so much time in the loop, that their anniversary arrives on the same day. But why does she do that? Why can’t she move beyond that day?
Over the course of their dates, Sheila tells Gary that before she got in the time machine and met him, she had decided to end her life. She entered the nail salon wanting to get her nails done, and then, had planned to jump off a bridge into the cold water to have, what she considered, an easier death. But the time machine offered her another chance. In her first loop, she ended up meeting Gary and had a great time with him. Because their first date was so good, Sheila believed that taking it forward would only ruin things for them. Her feelings about this were dictated by her past.
From all that happens in the film, it is clear that Sheila is suffering from depression. Things had always been a bit up and down for her. Her childhood was spent with a mother who didn’t pay her much attention, something that Gary discovers when he travels to Sheila’s past. Her father had been an alcoholic who died because of it, and this left a mark on her. It also turns out that she had been married for five years until her husband decided to call quits on their relationship, and they got divorced. The combined impact of all of these things, and more, took a toll on her, and she decided to end things.
It was when she met Gary that she found hope for herself. She had a great time with him and it was certainly the start of something good. However, because most of her relationships had fallen apart till now, she thought that something or the other in the future will lead Gary away from her. It could be his pregnant ex-girlfriend or someone nuking the city or simply the fact that Gary’s feelings might change in the future. Whatever it would be, Sheila decided it was better if she stayed in this one perfect day that she had with Gary rather than move forward and risk losing him completely. However, spending an entire year with him, stuck on the same day, eventually shows Sheila that for things to stay good, they need to change. She becomes so frustrated with the same routine and the fact that every night, Gary walks away when she talks about the dark things in her life that she decides it’s best if she sticks to her original plan and dies.
When she is finally about to go through with it, Gary shows up, asking her not to jump off the bridge. He pleads with her to give the next day a chance and see how things go from there. He tells her that he has seen the future (even though it’s more of a hope) and that no matter what she does, she’ll be in it. As he walks away, he says he’ll see her tomorrow, though he still remains uncertain. As the new day begins, Gary stops to look back and finds Sheila standing at a distance. It looks like he was right about the future after all. Sheila doesn’t jump off the bridge and decides to give the future another chance.
Do Sheila and Gary End up Together?
The whole point of repeating the same day over and over again was for Sheila to be with Gary. She was afraid of going into the next day because she feared that eventually her time with Gary will run its course and their relationship will end. But the fact that the relationship still runs its course, even when time doesn’t move forward, shows her that there is no point in living the same day over and over again. While for her, it has been more than a year since she started seeing Gary, for him, it’s barely been a night since he met her. This time difference creates a very unbalanced equation between them, which is what starts to create more problems than Sheila had imagined.
With every loop, Gary’s memories of the date with Sheila are wiped. He meets her for the first time, every single time, and yet, having spent more than a year with her, some things start to stick. He remembers little details about the things Sheila’d told him in previous loops. Not only this, but his feelings about her also start to settle in. On their last first date, he tells her that the entire date, he’s had mixed emotions about her. He feels like he’s having the best time of his life along with this unshakeable feeling that he resents her. Sheila doesn’t realize this, but Gary’s mixed feelings are the residual of their past interactions. Every time they meet for the first time is not as clean of a slate as Sheila believes it to be. Something from the past loops sticks and is carried forward.
In the end, Gary decides to look into the time machine and discovers that Sheila hadn’t been joking about it. He likes her but he doesn’t want to meet her for the first time again. He wants to move on to tomorrow, no matter what it looks like, so he decides to go back to her past and fix whatever issue caused her to have this bleak perception of life. Things don’t turn out as he’d intended, especially when he lands too far back in Sheila’s past and meets her young version, which cannot be reasoned with. He comes back believing he must have made a difference, but it turns out that he hasn’t.
He meets Sheila on the bridge where she is ready to jump. He convinces her to give another day a chance, and to his relief, she agrees to it. In the end, they walk into tomorrow, hand in hand, showing that they are ready to embrace things as they come. Life will still be a challenge and things might go wrong from time to time. But for now, they are ready to finally go on a second date and take things forward from there. Maybe they’ll stay together, maybe they won’t. In any case, they’ll take it one tomorrow at a time and not be stuck on the same day.
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