Ah, that first date – finally meeting that special person you’ve been flirting with for the first time. There’s a hint of caution and unease, however when things go well the fade away into an enjoyable evening. That’s what “The Date” has to offer: a cute, lesbian dating story. Short, sweet, with a dash of romance, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this queer short film from Emmalie El Fadli. Let’s break down what makes it so enjoyable!

Still from "The Date" - Lizzy & Olivia sitting across from each other at the table at the restaurant

Synopsis of “The Date”

Waking up to both a “goodnight” and “good morning” text, Lizzy (Miriam O’Brien) begins this special date: she and Olivia, whom she matched with via online dating, are finally meeting! Chatting throughout the day, including a puzzling text about the shirt she’s wearing during a job, it’s clear that they have been chatting for a while now. That evening, she anxiously waits outside the restaurant for Olivia to arrive, a tad early. When Olivia (Claire Cartwright) finally walks up right on time, it’s clear there is already some great chemistry. During their dinner, they chat a bit further including treading into some potentially dangerous “first date” conversation territory: how often they’ve gone on dates! But they both laugh it off as they realise they’re both rather picky.

As their dinner wraps up, Olivia asks if Lizzy would like to go somewhere else afterwards – perhaps somewhere to show off her dancing skills? Lizzy aggress but only if there’s also alcohol there, because her dancing isn’t great! Strolling along the Thames on their way to the club, they bond a bit more. Because it’s getting a bit chilly out, Lizzy gives Olivia the scarf she brought just in case. But now Lizzy is cold too – so they embrace and have a perfect reason to get a bit closer. When Lizzy gets a text from her flatmate making sure she’s ok, which leads Olivia into grabbing her hand to keep her safe. Skipping ahead to the dance club, they chat a bit more while dancing together. Very slowly they inch their faces closer and closer, leaning in for that first kiss. Finally their lips lock as they give into the moment and music on the dance floor!

Still from "The Date" - Lizzy & Olivia walk along the Thames at night on their date

The Critique

Overall, I really enjoyed “The Date”. With a high sense of energy and anticipation, this short perfectly captures that first date experience – well, when things go right! But before I dig into the great aspects of this queer short, let’s knock of the few issues and reasons why I knocked my score down a tad.

First off, I felt like we were missing the entire prelude to the story. We start when Lizzy wakes up the morning of the date – to both a text from the night before and that morning. Clearly they’ve been chatting for a bit with the casual banter between texts as they prepare to meet that night. While it does work for the short – I wanted more! It felt like we were getting just a snapshot glimpse into a much larger interesting story. The other aspect that fell a bit flat were some of the cinematography. While much of the camera work, lighting, and setup was great – there were some parts which felt a bit stagnant with a fixed camera. We don’t want editing and camera angles to bounce around all the time, but it was something that stood out. Lastly, during the credits we are treated to a multitude of real-life lesbian couples talking about how they met their partner via online dating apps. While it’s a rather cute touch – I found it a bit too distracting; it treaded a bit too far into documentary style.

But those issues aside, everything else was quite enjoyable! Both Miriam O’Brien and Claire Cartwright are captivating to watch with a chemistry that is utterly believable. Even under the pretext of that “first date”, there is a connection between them that is not awkward or tense. Plus they are cute together! Underneath their acting abilities is a script that is modern and full of cute remarks, adds to their growing connection. The simple tender moments such as bringing a scarf because it might be cold is quite cute. Even the text messages are well thought out and realistic – even giving us a bit of mystery as they’re both caught “spying” on each other to learn more ahead of their first date.

But lastly, there is a cinematographic balance of elements that work beautifully. The music does not overpower and provides an excellent background during that budding moment towards their first kiss at the club. Equally, there is plenty of colour in all scenes that is well thought out. With some on location shots along the Thames river walk (which is quite a cute scene itself!), it’s clear that this short had good production planning to bring it to life. Additionally, the opening montage along with the montage of Lizzy trying to select her outfit for the date was well thought out, advancing the plot while remaining interesting. (If only the actual scene at the restaurant had as much thought to give it an extra oomph). Overall, “The Date” is quite an enjoyable queer short film!

Promo for "The Date" - Lizzy & Olivia share a kiss on the dance floor of the club, with the lit bar behind them

If you want a cute, romantic short about two women meeting in person for the first time, “The Date” is a perfect choice for you! Showing a view of when online dating can actually work out successfully, both Lizzy and Olivia are two people who matched together perfectly. It’s captivating to watch, and utterly believable. So give it a watch and let me know what you think!

[Note: You can watch “The Date” on YouTube HERE]

Queer Relevance of “The Date”

Two lesbians finally meet on their first date – you can’t get any more queer than that! They even met via online dating apps – so they aren’t entirely all a loss! For the queer relevance in this short, simplicity works best.