I’ve long been troubled by the fact there only seems to be about a ten percent success rate when it comes to making comedies or romantic comedies. Once a year a good one is released, but every month more attempts come out. The problem may be sheer economics. If comedies have small budgets, don’t require special effects or huge actors, then I guess even if you have one or two good weeks with them they are a financial success. And so they get churned out as fast as possible, quality or not.
Which brings us to The Perfect Man, an example of churning if ever there was one. No wait, first let’s accentuate the positive. Carson Kressley from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” has some funny moments. Also, Brooklyn looks like some place you’d want to live as opposed to some place you’d want to escape. That’s all I have for happy times, let’s fast forward right to a savage ripping.
You ready for the premise of this movie? Heather Locklear moves her two daughters around from state to state, tearing them out of schools, getting new apartments, uprooting their way of life. Is this because she’s on the run from the law, or maybe because she’s running from a homicidal spouse? Perhaps she’s moving for a new job opportunity? No my friends, Ms. Locklear moves every time she gets dumped. You can’t stay in Wichita if your heart is broken can you? Of course not. So that’s the absurd conceit we’ve got to get on board with. And the problem is: It’s NOT funny OR plausible! You would think at least ONE of them would be a concern. In a comedy I’m not asking for logic, but I am at least asking for comedy.
So let’s plunge on. I’ve seen films come back from worse than a bad initial premise. The second thing we’re urged to understand is that Hillary Duff doesn’t want to move around anymore. So far so good. A better instinct would be to get a foster mom, but whatever. She attempts to create a “perfect man” that will entrance her mother so they won’t move. Yeah, but won’t Heather Locklear want to meet this man at some point? Or maybe they will use some real guy’s picture and he’ll accidentally be in the same place as Heather? At this point I think I’m legally obligated to comment on all this hilarity and hijinx. As you would have guessed, hilarity ensues.
And so from the opening moments of The Perfect Man it hits a sour note and runs with it. It’s a teenage movie full of easily accessible humor that’s not laugh out loud or even inner smile funny. It’s obvious, overwrought, in a word… lifeless. It wasn’t ideal, not perfect and by no means is it our one allotted good comedy of the year. I’ll keep searching.