It's been a while. Too long, I would say. Lots of great movies have come and gone since last I wrote, and, unfortunately, lots of horrendous films have also been seen in that time. I think part of why I have not written on the blog in so long is because I knew that the next time I did it would be to review The Perfect Man, a movie that was chosen for me to watch and review by my podcast co-host, Christopher Spicer, as punishment for me losing our annual summer box office challenge. It is now tradition that I lose, and I imagine that I will lose again in this upcoming season.
So, the movie that I am indeed here to talk about is the Hilary Duff star vehicle from 2005, The Perfect Man. The premise for this film is that Duff's mother Jean, played by Heather Locklear (who was in the news today for some not so flattering reasons) picks up and moves her family every time she has a relationship fall apart, which we learn is quite often. Not wanting to move again, Holly (Duff's character) decides it is best to toy with her mother's emotions by creating a secret admirer for Jean that Holly believes to be the perfect man. This concept of what a perfect man would be is based off of the uncle of her new Brooklyn friend, with one of the most destructive and mind wilting forced Brooklyn accents.
Based off of simplistic and superficial advice from the uncle Ben, who is played by Chris North (who may be recognized by some as Mr. Big from Sex and the City), Holly sends her mother a flower and a letter. The letter sounds like it came from a stalker, but these two creepy gestures end up captivating Jean's mind, showing just how easy it is to sweep a one dimensional character like her off her feet. While a normal Earth woman would be sceptical of unwanted attention from a mystery man who knows her name, knows where she works, and knows where she lives, Jean is caught up in the idea.
I do want to mention that Chris North isn't bad in this role. I like him. He plays down to Earth charmers really well. He was something that I didn't mind in Sex and the City. The problem is that his character is forced to become something completely unbelievable. I won't get into the finale of the movie, but it is against what rational human beings would do.
As the movie progresses, Holly comes to believe that uncle Ben himself is the perfect man and that he must get together with her mother because the have so much in common and they are perfect for each other. Do you want the list of all the shit that they have in common that makes them ideal soul mates? Well, first of all, they both do the crossword in pen. If that doesn't say 'together forever' I don't know what would. Secondly, and this is literally in the movie, they both believe that the moon is more than a large rock. Yep. And what's better, uncle Ben never says a damned thing about his thoughts on the moon, it is just what Holly believes he would say. So there we have the understanding of why we should root for this couple. Crosswords, and thoughts on the moon, which actually are not shared by both characters.
This film is a mess. It does not know what it is doing. It is out to lunch and clueless. Need another example? When Holly finds out that her mother is going to be at the restaurant that Ben owns (which is a problem because she sent a picture of Ben to her to believe it came from the perfect man) she knows that the whole thing could fall apart if her mother sees Ben. So, the plan... her friend (the Brooklyn girl with an accent that you would think was done by an inebriated, recently waterboarded, Jimmy Carr who is waiting for the effects of panther tranquilizer to wear off) would go to the restaurant to keep them from seeing each other, and Holly would go to his apartment. Weird, eh? You would think that the girl would go to her uncle's and Holly would go to where her mom is. Whatever. It leads to a scene with Holly alone with this man, in his apartment, explaining to him about peer pressure on a teenage girl and how there were things that she didn't want to do and some things that she did want to do. She also shares with him about getting a tattoo that would only be visible if her pants were down, or something like that. This is a conversation that may try to be funny, but doesn't really understand how creepy this conversation is. It is painful.
Don't watch this movie. It is about a manipulative, lying daughter who treats her mother like a puppet in a movie that doesn't understand that what she is doing is incredibly insensitive. It is like Irreplaceable You in the fact that it doesn't realize that people who try to orchestrate the emotions of others are jerks. I do wish there was one thing that I could point to as a reason to see this film, but there seems to be no such thing.
Rating - 0.5 out of 4 stars
PS - I didn't proofread this review. I didn't want to return to it. I am severing all connections to The Perfect Man. Life is too short to focus on this movie for any longer.