‘Fresh’ shows that the horrors of modern day dating are real!

Synopsis: The horrors of modern dating are seen through one young woman’s defiant battle to survive her new boyfriend’s unusual appetites.
Director: Mimi Cave
Stars: Sebastian Stan, Daisy Edgar-Jones

If I were about to fly somewhere, especially overseas, I wouldn’t watch Lost (2004-2010) right before leaving. If I were going to stay in a motel off the beaten path, I probably wouldn’t watch Vacancy (2007) right before doing so. And, if you are about to embark on a first date, you may want to skip Fresh.

That isn’t an insult to any of those productions, especially the one we are about to discuss, quite the opposite, but it does speak to how effective they are.

Fresh is a new movie by director Mimi Cave, who makes her feature film debut after many short films. The movie focuses on Noa (Edgar-Jones), a woman who doesn’t seem to have any luck in the dating world. She meets different guys who seem like they could be her Prince Charming, but after being face-to-face with them, she realizes they are just frogs. On one awkward date, she is lectured on how women of today don’t dress as nice as women did before. Then, when she rejects his advances, she is then told: “You’re not really my type. I was just being nice.” As she navigates the dating world, which seems to be made of swiping left and right and avoiding unwanted pictures of men’s body parts, she seems to be at a loss.

Then out of nowhere, at a grocery store one day (always a great place to meet people), she comes across Steve (Stan), and they hit it off . . . quite well. She starts telling her closest girlfriend about him, and things seem like she finally met a good guy. Sebastian Stan is perfectly cast in this role. He’s a good-looking guy with the ‘awe-shucks’ charm needed to pull off such a grocery store ‘meet-cute.’

But just when you think that Noah and Steve could be leading to something wonderful, you are reminded of the fact that this film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the Midnight category, and what you need to know about movies in the Midnight category is that they get dark, quickly.

It turns out our charming guy Steve is holding a secret. No . . . Steve, you were supposed to be one of the good ones!

Sebastian Stan, who seems to be in so many projects lately, does a fantastic job in this film. He is very convincing. Edgar-Jones is equally engaging. Her character seems to perfectly represent what women are dealing with from a dating perspective in 2022. Cave and her writer, Lauryn Kahn, have effectively captured the world of dating, and this helps make this film feel authentic.

This film does a great job of combining the ups and downs of modern dating with avoiding the regular tropes of a thriller film. This movie is a strong entry in the thriller genre and definitely worth a watch. 

Grade: B

Watch the movie trailer: