*This review contains spoilers.
What first drew me to the movie “Fresh” was the trailer and the soundtrack. The trailer found a great balance of giving away and holding back. With the occasional flashes of red graphic designs, in addition to “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs playing in the background, it created a very ominous vibe. Anyone who watched the trailer prior to watching the movie would know what the movie was about.
Even so, the first half hour of the film gives off a much different tone. It starts out with Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), the main protagonist who has trouble with online dating apps. One day, she meets a man named Steve (Sebastian Stan) in the grocery store. He cracks a couple grocery-store themed jokes, something that only the universally-charming Stan could pull off seamlessly.
Their first interactions seem like the movie is a meet-cute, happy, romantic comedy.
He offers to take her on a surprise trip, but the night prior to the trip, they stay the night at his house. This is where it all goes downhill.
Around the 30-minute mark, the title card is finally revealed. From that point on, the movie morphs from a girl’s romantic dream to a girl’s worst nightmare. “Steve” is not who Noa thinks he is. He has a certain palate, and Noa was his next tool to use to satisfy it.
Without giving away the ending, there is one word that can be used to describe it: “Huh?” The last 20 minutes felt like a fever dream. All the climactic peaks happen in the last half hour with all of the storylines colliding. The movie itself ends on a humorous tone, with Noa finding out Steve was married.
Suddenly, that was her main gripe with his endless lies. This type of humor was sprinkled rarely enough throughout the movie that it felt almost wrong every time it happened. Dark humor is one thing, but these felt like cheaper jokes than what would be considered clever dark humor.
While it was nice for them to give some exposition on Steve’s background, there wasn’t much substance to it. He tries to explain why he is the way he is to Noa, but we’re left with so many unanswered questions that it makes the viewers wonder if this movie is setting up a future prequel to explore the past life of Steve.
“Fresh” is currently streaming on Hulu.