September 14, 2015

Movie Review: The Perfect Guy

When it comes to late August and early September releases, there is not usually the expectation of quality. It is similar to what happens in January, you may find a gem, but usually the new releases are just movies the studio is hoping to make a little money off of in lieu of any real quality. Something of a dumping ground. I feel that is what happened with The Perfect Guy. Clearly they were looking to follow up last year's No Good Deed, and based on the box office, they must be happy with the results. However, if you are looking for quality, you would be better served looking elsewhere.

The Perfect Guy was directed by David M. Rosenthal, making the jump from indie fare to a wide studio release. I have not seen any of his films, but the one he made immediately prior to this, A Single Shot, looks pretty interesting, a thriller with Sam Rockwell. I think it might be interesting to check that out, see what Rosenthal can do, as this film is as dull and by the numbers as it gets. It is like work for hire rather than something you get invested in. The screenplay was handled by Tyger Williams whose only other writing credit is 1993's Menace II Society. I also wonder what it was that attracted him to this project, or what inspired the story. Again, it is nothing special and is actually rather dull.

The Perfect Guy is ostensibly a thriller, the bad thing about it is that it forgot the thrills. In a way it is like the Poltergeist remake from earlier this year, that was a horror movie that forgot to be scary. It is a movie that purports to have secrets to reveal, but it is like taking an open book test, your know exactly what is going to happen. I went into the screening with the best of intentions, I thought the trailer looked interesting, I like the cast, and thought it could be a decent little thriller. Sadly, it does not generate any tension, does not give off any heat, nor does it make any sense.

We follow Leah (Sanaa Lathan), a successful lobbyist, and her businessman boyfriend, Dave (Morris Chestnut). They seem like a good couple, but in short order their difference of opinion on marriage and children differ and they split. We jump down the road a bit and Leah has a chance meeting with Carter (Michael Ealy). The sparks immediately fly and before long, the sweet talking charmer has won not only her, but her friends and family as well.

Things take a turn when Carter sees a guy talking to her at a gas station. He grabs the guy and process to pound the snot out of him. I guess you may consider this a spoiler, but it is in the trailers. This is the turning point of the movie, sweet talking Carter gives way to crazy violent stalker Carter. Leah becomes the woman in peril for the remainder of the film, and logic is never applied to anything.

It is like these characters have no brains, despite how intelligent and successful they appear to be, there is a severe lack of logic. Of course, it feels like they are working from a first draft of a leftover script found in the back of the closet that never got the attention it deserved. When you watch this thing unfold onscreen, it is hard not to wonder about what they were thinking. There are a couple of good bits with Holt McCanally as a detective trying to help Leah, but it is not enough to really carry this to anything.

The Perfect Guy is just a bore. I will say that I like Ealy's presence, he is good as the charmer and equally good as the creepy stalker. Unfortunately, it is not blended well, it is like a switch is thrown halfway through the movie. Nothing is a surprise, nothing is shocking. It is a paint by numbers movie that doesn't even try to hide its twists. Then it goes off the rails, and not in a good way, at the end. If you see it, let me know if you see the problem, it is pretty obvious.

This is the sort of movie that could use a little zaniness injected into it. Back in the day, this is a movie that would likely have used what it had more to its benefit, the side characters would have been wackier, the woman in peril would have been more scared, the bad guy would be more over the top. Instead, it does nothing. I think I would have been better off looking up a copy of No Good Deed and seeing if that is any good, it does have Idris Elba.

Not Recommended.

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