Good Date Bad Match
Written and Directed by Xin Jiang
Produced by Charles Schemm
Cast: Lee-Todd Lien, Jake-Aaron Daniel Ratnayeke, Jane-Joy Chu, Jane’s Date-Katherine Yu
Review by Jen Bush
Aaron Ratnayeke is an artist in every sense of the word. He’s a performing artist, a visual artist, a model, a singer, and it doesn’t end there. His talents served him well when he came to Hollywood to pursue his artistic passions. He’s booking projects left and right. You can see his winning smile in a commercial for Disney parks. He’s featured in Khalid’s brand-new music video for the song Skyline. Khalid is a multi-award-winning vocal artist. He was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. Being in his video speaks volumes about what Mr. Ratnayeke brings to the creative table.
Good Date Bad Match centers on Lee who is a young filmmaker living in San Francisco. He connected with Jake online. Jake is in San Francisco now and wants to meet up. This is after Lee receives a phone call from Jane. Jane got Lee’s phone number from his mother and is his blind date who will be two hours late. Both Jane and Lee do not seem into the blind date at all. Jane is very abrupt on the phone. Despite that, Lee agrees to meet both parties. The hyper energetic Jake arrives in stark contrast to the calm and laid-back Lee. Jake storms in and starts looking around Lee’s apartment touching his movie camera. It’s pretty clear that Jake is the consummate impulsive bad boy character. During this 13 minute film the two young men drink, smoke pot and steal. Flirty Jake is into Lee but Lee is more reserved and cautious. Jane finally arrives early with her own female date in tow. Who will end up with who?
This was a cute film that would appeal to the 18-25 demographic, online dating enthusiasts, and the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community. Aaron Ratnayeke gave a high energy and convincing performance as bad boy Jake. He’s got an alluring and charismatic presence. Todd Lien gave a superb performance as the reluctant romantic Lee. He portrayed a wide range of emotion during an organic performance. If the storyline with the blind date was eliminated, the story would have worked just as well. That storyline seemed like a fleeting footnote. It could have been expanded in a madcap way to provide some comedy relief. The cinematography showed both the gritty and the beautiful sides of San Francisco. The film was well titled. It was a good fun date but ultimately Lee and Jake were not a good match.
Aaron Ratnayeke is racking up some impressive credits between Disney and high-profile musical artists like Khalid. From childhood he was determined to forge a path for himself as a multi-faceted artist. The plan is working well for him, and we’ll be seeing a lot more of him.