Review: ‘The Perfect Guy’

“The fact is that 1987’s “Fatal Attraction” set the high bar for stalker films, perfectly combining charming and sexy with angry and violent—all mixed together into the bipolar retaliation blender. Rosenthal’s “The Perfect Guy” tries too hard to capture the shocking “boiled bunny” moment of “Fatal Attraction”, injecting a toothbrush scene in a thinly-veiled comparison to make viewers squirm.” – REEL BRIEF.com

theperfectguy

With summer coming to a close next week, we say good-bye to an above-average 14-week run of movies that boasted the 3rd highest grossing film of all-time (“Jurassic World”), sparked the cognitive thinking of moviegoers from all ages (“Inside Out”) and ended with an unvarnished look at controversial hip hop rappers (“Straight Outta Compton”).  But before the Academy Award competition opens in earnest this year, several less than appetizing films remain on the table as cinema screen leftovers.  One such movie entrée we must still plow through is “The Perfect Guy”.

In his first studio feature, director David M. Rosenthal steps into the jilted relationship waters of psychopathic breakups.  After a successful business woman (Sanaa Lathan) ends her ties with a long-time boyfriend and begins dating anew, trouble lurks.  Everywhere.  And we know how this is going to end.  Badly.

Michael Ealy and Sanaa Lathan star in Screen Gems' THE PERFECT GUY.

Twenty-eight years since Michael Douglas’ extra-marital affair with Glenn Close went sour in “Fatal Attraction”, audiences can now smell creeper, jealousy and psychotic stalker features from the box office window.  It’s no coincidence that our nation’s first anti-stalking laws were enacted in California exactly 3 years after Close’s character boiled a family’s bunny to death in a violent big-screen rage.  That bizarre, yet memorable moment, has become the benchmark for crazy on the relationship break-up scale.

The fact is that 1987’s “Fatal Attraction” set the high bar for stalker films, perfectly combining charming and sexy with angry and violent—all mixed together into the bipolar retaliation blender. Rosenthal’s “The Perfect Guy” tries too hard to capture the shocking “boiled bunny” moment of “Fatal Attraction”, injecting a toothbrush scene in a thinly veiled comparison to make viewers squirm.  Unfortunately, the only discomfort felt is from seeing how little Rosenthal tries to raise the bar on these twisted, creeper films.

Barely touched upon in “The Perfect Guy” is how impactful a break-up in 2015 can be for those attempting to leave a volatile relationship.  While the film adequately depicts the frustrations with our legal system in stalker cases, it skims too quickly over the cyber shenanigans that can be pulled off by those with a criminal intent.  The dangers posed by predators from electronic monitoring of our actions and personal emails easily could’ve been explored further to elevate the stalking discussion into the 21st Century.

The missed opportunities for clever, timely plot surprises and provocative thought in “The Perfect Guy” will only be magnified in the coming months.  As Oscar season and excitement builds this fall, fewer of these leftover side dishes will find room on the awards table.  And if they do, it’ll only be as an appetizer.  Let’s hope they take this break-up well.

Grade: C

“The Perfect Guy” is rated PG-13 for violence, menace, sexuality and brief strong language.  It’s running time is 1 hour and 40 minutes.

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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"Patrick, you are my go-to guy when it comes to the box office".   - Judy O.

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