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The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

‘How to Date Billy Walsh’ : A roller coaster of a Rom-Com (Spoilers Ahead)

“How to Date Billy Walsh’ was released on Amazon Prime Video on April 5.

  On April 5, Amazon Prime video released a movie called, “How to Date Billy Walsh.” The movie stars Charithra Chandran, Sebastian Croft and Tanner Buchanan. It was directed by Alex Pillai and written by Greer Ellison and Alexander J. Farrell.

  This movie drops you into a quirky world where English teenage boy, Archibald Arnold (Sebastian Croft) is in love with his best friend since birth, Amelia Brown (Charithra Chandran). Archibald has always felt too cowardly to declare his undying love for Amelia, but when he finally feels the courage to take a leap, a new American student, Billy Walsh (Tanner Buchanan), comes into the picture. 

  Amelia confesses to Archibald that she is in love with Billy, despite the lack of time they have spent together (the two haven’t even talked), and that she has never actually been in love with anyone till him. Amelia and Archibald have a huge argument when he says how boys like Billy don’t date people like them. This upsets Amelia greatly because it insinuates that she was unwanted, but Archibald redeems himself when he gives Amelia the number of his mom’s famed “Love Doctor.”

  The “Love Doctor” magically mended his parents’ marriage, so Amelia feels as though he could be the key to her success. Little does Amelia know though, “The Love Doctor,” who is an old man that she video calls every time she has boy trouble, is actually Archibald using the power of technology and a whole lot of jealousy. Amelia spirals into a frenzy of trying different tactics and actions to get the boy to notice her via “The Love Doctor” and she somehow gets a first date out of it.

  “The Love Doctor”(Archibald) tells Amelia she needs to be as disrespectful and heinous as she can to Billy and all the wait staff at the restaurant they go to. Amelia, who is desperate and blinded by her inexperience with love, does as he says and ends up being left at the restaurant, alone. Billy Walsh declared that his dad barely talks to him and no one ever wants to really get to know him. He thought Amelia was different, but she’s just like the others.

  In a fourth quarter spree of emotions, Amelia locks herself in the main office and, over the intercom, she reveals every embarrassing thing that has ever happened to her, including the tragic story of her mother dying from sickness. Archibald loves Amelia endlessly and feels so much pain for her, but he learns in this moment that loving someone is to let them go. 

  Archibald urges Billy to go for the girl and sprays the entire rest of the student body with a fire extinguisher to force them away from the office with Amelia inside. This moment is the catalyst to Billy and Amelia to start dating; maybe she is the girl that he thought she was. Amelia has achieved the prize she wanted, but the tax for Billy was Archibald’s gradual distancing from her and her new life. 

  On prom night, Archibald sulks in his thousand thread-count bed, knowing that the love of his life is on the dance floor with the popular guy, but Amelia miraculously shows up at his house. Prior to this, Amelia was told by her dad that he was friends with her mom for years and years before they took the leap and started dating. Her dad revealed that she was his best friend in the world and, as time went on, he fell in love. Archibald has literally been attached to her hip ever since birth and he has done nothing but support and love her, so she chooses her best friend, just like her mom.

  No teen rom-com can end smoothly though because there’s one secret that has yet to be unveiled; the “Love Doctor.” Amelia calls the doctor a couple times before she realizes the ringing is coming from inside the room. Amelia opens a drawer in Archibald’s desk to reveal the phone she has been calling this whole time.

  Amelia storms out the house immediately, without waiting for Archibald to attempt to explain himself. Archibald has wronged her once again and the audience at this point can’t see a way to right this wrong. Archie makes his way to prom, determined to not lose his best friend forever, when a group of jocks detain him. The group of juveniles besmirch every aspect of Archie’s appearance and tie him upside down to a pole.

  The group of boys head back to the party and boast about their deed to Billy, but Billy draws confusion at what they took care of till he ventures outside and finds Archie.  

  Archie is defeated under the guise of Billy, in his state, he assumes he orchestrated the prank and wants him away from Amelia. Billy surprises Archie though when he sets him free and lets him go. It’s revealed that Billy has let go of Amelia and believes Archie is the one that is meant to get the girl. This scene is reminiscent of the earlier moment in the movie when Archie sprays the fire hydrant just for Billy to get the opportunity to make his way in the office, meeting Amelia. This time though, Billy allows Archie to go after her.

  With dried mud on every crevice of his suit and black marker scribbled across his face, Archie makes his way to the main stage, grabbing the mic. The crowd grows big with laughter; Archie has always been seen as the unpopular rich kid that isn’t cared for greatly. In spite of their heckling, Archie starts to go into an analogy about stars and how they vary in brightness and how they interact with other stars in the solar system. He describes various people in the crowd being stars, like Amber (popular girl), but there’s a pair of two stars in the sky where one shines far brighter than the other. 

  That set of two stars is him and Amelia; he proudly stays linked to her, basking in her unescapable bright light. When posing as a wise old man who is an expert in love and saying how Amelia doesn’t belong with Billy, Archie was acting from a place of greed, jealousy and ultimately fear. In the process of trying to shield Amelia from finding any love that isn’t his, he ended up almost losing her completely, bravery is what he needed. Once Archie makes it to the middle of the dance floor, he confesses his love and the two best friends kiss, finally getting what both of them deserve.

  That was the story of Archibald’s journey out of the friend zone and into Amelia’s heart. The writing on this movie had unique scenes, like the “Love Doctor” character that was made possible through A.I. or the whole dinner moment of Amelia acting like a stuck up prune to gain his attraction. A good chunk of the movie was quite predictable though.

  The hot, athletic, and booksmart popular boy who drives a motorcycle is very expected; A popular girl that has a whole posse who feels threatened by the main love interest; The main character having a mother that died when she was at a young age; and of course the main character confessing their love on stage during prom. This movie has a ton of tropes, but are tropes all that bad if they’re reimagined?

  Hats down to the editor, Matt Platts-Mills, on this movie and the director for the unique motifs seen within the movie. During the movie we followed the narration of Archibald for the most part and this was seen a lot through Archie breaking the fourth wall. Although breaking the fourth wall can be seen as unnecessary and cringy, I think it perfectly fits the responses of a boy who is very opinionated, humorous and is hiding his undying love for his childhood best friend. 

  My favorite editing choice in the movie is when Archie and Amelia are having a conversation in the theater and the camera jumps to Archie being in the black and white film they’re watching being chased by zombies. The conversation is not really important, but the use of different sets and moments where different aspects of the world bleed into each other is really refreshing and makes the viewing experience more enjoyable.

  An article on The Guardian made by Adrian Horton discussing the plot and downfalls of the movie reads, “At best, these B-tier streaming movies are fun, kicky, or knowingly smooth-brain. At worst, they’re offensive to your time.” 

  This is partially true. Amelia’s emotional intelligence is presented as very underdeveloped and it feels as though the two boys are allowing each other to move in and out of her good graces, rather than Amelia choosing them. Also there are many character types, like a gay teenage boy that says random remarks in the movie when something crazy happens, which can be seen in movies like Mean Girls with the character Damian. 

  In conclusion, “How to date Billy Walsh” is a flawed movie that probably gives teen rom coms a bad representation. The flaws in the movie could be chalked up to the culture of streaming service movies that are trying so hard to be watched and to be interesting. The premise and execution of the movie was sincere though, with fun editing, a nice cast of young stars and the English countryside. The movie was fun and if you don’t want to think too much about it, there’s really nothing wrong with it.


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Jordan Jeffreys
Jordan Jeffreys, Writer
Hi Guys! I'm Jordan and this is my first year on the Cat Talk. At school I'm involved in our very own Wildcat Dance Team, but I also dance at CC & Co Dance Complex. When I am not writing, I am listening to music, watching various movies and tv shows and hanging out with the people I love most. I hope you enjoy my writing!

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