Meet Cute Plot Synopsis
Meet Cute is available to stream now on Peacock. The time travel romance story stars Kaley Cuoco and Pete Davidson as Sheila and Gary, two people who relive the same night repeatedly but with only the former having any memory of it. It is her ploy to find the perfect man for herself and get out of the rut she finds struggling with in life.
Despite its fascinating ideas, Meet Cute does not deliver on its promise. It is bogged down by the weight to emulate great films in its thematic lineages such as About Time and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
But having said that, Meet Cute does offer some head-scratching questions that need answering. We have taken the mantle to do that for you. Below we have an ending explainer for Meet Cute and also some of the questions about the plot left unanswered in the film.
Why doesn’t Sheila want to move on from the perfect night?
So, Sheila keeps revisiting the same night with Gary repeatedly. She has no intentions of ever moving on from there, as she reveals to June. From one of the things she says to Gary, it can even be gauged that she has done it over a thousand times. But why is that? We see Sheila being heartbroken about her current circumstance.
Although details are never spared about why she wanted to commit suicide, we do know that she wanted to. When she walked into that nail salon and time travelled, she had no hope.
But when she met Gary, everything changed for her. It was as if she had found her prince charming. She even says “you’re the man I looked over men’s shoulders for”. The magical night did not want her to let go of how she felt. Another reason is that moving on from that night doesn’t help Gary.
Among other things, he has met with a subway accident, the city got nuked (inside job) on one occasion, and on another, Amber called him saying that she is pregnant. This uncertainty looms large over her decision-making. The “what if” precludes her from ever moving past the perfect moments she spends with Gary.
But there’s a saturation point for everything and she has reached that once Gary didn’t make her laugh anymore. She latched on to him until she didn’t. That is a hard lesson to learn and that left her heartbroken once again.
In what way does the machine help Sheila change her decision to kill herself?
The magical night with Gary changed her mind. She hasn’t been this happy for a long time. Before she met Gary and used the machine, she was miserable and wanted to jump off the bridge. Sheila is even seen narrating her rationale for choosing this “selfless death” for her. In essence, the machine gave her the purpose to feel alive again and the hope to keep going on until she convinces Gary to get in a relationship with her. She was motivated for a long while to do something and put her heart and soul into achieving that thing.
For a depressed person struggling with mental solace, it is a huge deal to suddenly have a rope. Although they cannot yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, they surely feel the end of the rope will take them there. And that is how the machine changed Sheila.
Why does the night always stop for Sheila on the bridge?
We saw in almost all the iterations with the “old” Gary that their night always stopped on the bridge when Sheila would explain her sob story. Gary would always walk away in spite of what Sheila said. There seemed to be no way she could convince him to love her. And that is why she keeps trying again. But this answers a larger, more universal question of some things not meant to happen. Regardless of your relentlessness, there are some things that are always out of your reach.
It is not because of any fault of your own but something more cosmic that prevents it from happening. Here, Gary always had a human reaction to whatever Sheila said, and in no universe can that be an okay way to feel for a normal person. She needed help; maybe even the embrace of love. But something needed to change. The “new” Gary also explained this point to her when he learned what she had done to him to make him like this.
How does Gary change suddenly one night?
All of a sudden, Gary became interested in sports, more confident, and dressed classier. He also had a small start-up as opposed to being a freelance graphic designer. He’s calling the shots, controlling the night, thus giving Sheila something new and exciting. It was almost as if he knew what he had to do like a charming man would on a first date. Sheila has made those changes to make him perfect for her. June revealed to her that she could go back to any point in the past, but only for 24 hours, after which she’ll be back at the salon.
Sheila went back into all those moments of Gary’s life where things went wrong for the original Gary. She plays catch with him and encourages him to take more interest in sports. She was Uncle Charlie in Gary’s life, which he shockingly learns then. She also deleted some people from his life: maths teacher Mrs. Kaiser, middle school bully Patrick, and amber. And Tatiana, the girl to whom he lost his virginity. All of these changes somehow led him to become this changed man.
Does Gary really see the future?
The ending of Meet Cute is perhaps its weakest point. After that last night, Gary decides to go back in time to visit the salon after convincing Sheila it’ll be different the next time. The change of heart happens when Sheila actually says something true to him from the depths of her heart. Gary goes to the salon, asks June for directions, and goes back into the past. He knows where Sheila lives.
Sheila’s mother thinks he is the guy to repair the television and lets him in. Sheila is playing in the living room where it is kept and her mother excuses herself to go into the bathroom.
That is when she suddenly starts crying and Gary gives her a big, warm hug, saying, “It is okay to be messy sometimes”. It most probably works because just before he returns, Sheila finally bids goodbye to the machine. She is heading towards the bridge. On her way, she gives her purse to a homeless man and Gary frenetically tries to reach the same location. He catches up but Sheila is heartbroken and lost in the misery of her pain.
Will it finally happen? Will he say it to her? “I saw the future”, Gary says. And he saw Sheila in it. “June turned the nob to F and we can go to the future”. Sheila isn’t buying it, though.
He says she will go on the other side but when she asks about it, Gary doesn’t have an answer. He still says he can give her proof but Sheila does not follow him. The sun comes up and Gary accepts his defeat. Only to find that Sheila has indeed come through. He runs up to her and hugs her. The two walk side by side and joke about their first night.
A post-credit scene shows some of the other times Sheila went back to make Gary fall in love with her.
She is becoming like her older self. “If you erase the pain, you erase the person” is something that June said to Sheila. And in many ways, the phrase is true. But that doesn’t really help explain why Sheila came to the other side, following Gary.
After the machine, Sheila trusted Gary more. At that moment, her choice was either to jump in and die or follow a person she knows so well and can have a future with. Gary finally came to accept Sheila for her flaws and she saw that.
He became the light at the end of the tunnel for Sheila, who finally had a lifeline. That is why she followed him, tempted to see what the future holds when she has love in her life.
Read More: Meet Cute Movie Review