The Perfect Man (1/10)
If it’s true that 10,000
monkeys in a room with 10,000 typewriters might produce one script of
Hamlet, then it’s also possible that the other 9,999 will produce the
script for “The Perfect Man.” Rarely will you see a more inane movie. But
it’s a movie with a purpose. Inked by Gena Wendkos, who also wrote “The
Princess Diaries” (2001) and had a story credit on “The Princess Diaries
2: Royal Engagement” (2004), it continues in the same vein with the same
goal: the marginalization of men.
Jean Hamilton (Heather
Locklear) is a self absorbed single mother of two daughters, Holly
(Hillary Duff), and Holly’s younger sister. Jean had both children out of
wedlock and raised them without the benefit of a husband-father. The
idiotic plot is based on Jean constantly getting dumped by men. Straining
our credulity beyond the breaking point, whenever she’s dumped she moves
the entire family to a new city. Finally she arrives in Brooklyn, only to
be courted by a jerky baker, Lenny Norton (Mike O’Malley), where she
works. Meanwhile, Holly miraculously immediately has a best friend at
school, Amy Pearl (Vanessa Lengies). Picture this, Holly is a new kid in
school, coming in the middle of the year, and right away, without an extra
breath, she’s got a bosom buddy. Amy has an uncle, Ben Cooper (Chris Noth),
who owns a tony restaurant. Holly doesn’t like Lenny, so she concocts a
romance between Ben and Jean by sending Jean flowers and emails and such,
ostensibly from Ben.
There were so many things I
despised that I’m just going to enumerate them and be done with it.
I didn’t like Hillary Duff
and her pseudo syrupy character. Alas, Hillary is in almost every scene.
They must have had to search high and low for a boy friend short enough
for the vertically challenged Hillary, and they found one in Ben Feldman,
who plays Adam, a cartoonist who is supremely confident but is never shown
with anyone else but Holly, always conveniently near him in school.
Heather Locklear is
ridiculously self centered. In one scene she is at a welcoming assembly
for new students and parents at Holly’s high school. She gets up and makes
a plea for mixers for single parents. Giving an idea of how clueless these
filmmakers are, this imbecilic scene is the one they have distributed for
the stars to show on the talk shows. Despite her fatal flaw, her character
becomes admirable, an amazing switch from someone who apparently is only
thinking of catching some guy, any guy, to the detriment of her children.
I liked Chris Noth on Law &
Order, but his appearance in this film is little more than a cameo. Giving
him a co-star billing is about as honest as everything Holly does in the
film. This is a chick flick, one that says that men are unimportant,
despite the misleading title. What Wendkos and director Mark Rosman are
really saying is that “the perfect man” is one who is not present.
The entire plot is based on
dishonesty and deception and trivializes them. Holly misleads her
vulnerable mother throughout, playing on her emotions.
Holly is really a piece of
work. Even though Ben is extraordinarily friendly and cooperative with
little Holly, in order to keep Jean and Ben from actually meeting (since
Ben has no idea what’s going on) when Jean goes to Ben’s restaurant with a
group of friends, Holly causes the fire-prevention sprinklers go on,
completely destroying the evening for an entire restaurant full of people
and probably subjecting Ben to a flood of claims, if not law suits and
lost customers. Not to worry, Holly successfully kept Ben and Jean from
meeting so all is well. Could pretty little syrupy sweet Holly be more of
She masquerades as Ben and
initiates an exchange of emails with her mother, getting her mother to
open up her vulnerable heart in the emails. Not to worry, this gives Holly
an insight into her mother, so all is well.
As mentioned, Jean has become
pregnant twice with out of wedlock babies. Not to worry, this is
Hollywood and who needs a father? Jean wants a man for herself, not a
father for her children. The only good thing I have to say about this is
that she didn’t have abortions; she did bear them and raised them. But she
obviously continues to sleep around; her morals are those of a rabbit.
Maybe the reason she can’t get a man is based on the old theory, why buy
the cow when the milk’s so cheap? Or maybe Wendkos just doesn’t think that
men, in the form of husbands and fathers, are that important. The message
to the little girls watching this: you want a baby? Have one; don’t worry
about marriage or a husband or a father for it.
Holly and Amy and Adam go to
the most unrealistic high school this side of the Universal Studio sound
stages. Maybe “Blackboard Jungle” (1955) was a stretch, but it was closer
to reality than this idealistic piece of paradise.
Holly is the biggest liar
this side of Hitler. Not to worry, this film is based on the premise that
“all’s well that ends well.”
It’s deplorable that Universal
and Rosman and Wendkos are out peddling this male-denigrating bunkum to
impressionable young teenage girls.
June 14, 2005