Movie Review: The Perfect Guy (2015)
“Trust one, fear the other”
The Perfect Guy (2016)
Director: David M. Rosenthal
Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, Morris Chestnut
Synopsis: A professional woman is stalked by a violent ex-boyfriend who is unable to accept that their relationship is over.
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You can be sure of one of two things when a guy in a movie appears too good to be true: he’s either going to die in the first reel or turn out to be a murderous, apparently unstoppable, sociopath. In David M. Rosenthal’s The Perfect Guy, Carter (Michael Ealy – Last Vegas, About Last Night) is the title character, an IT security specialist who, in four scenes, smoothly negotiates himself into a position from which he can expect to start receiving a lot of good lovin’ from pretty political lobbyist Leah (Sanaa Lathan). He’s managed the slo-mo sensual dance moves without embarrassing himself, won over the grumpy, protective father with tickets to the Giants match – now, all he’s got to do is deal with the guy he mistakenly believes is hitting on his new squeeze without beating the poor guy to a pulp.
And he was doing so well…
Needless to say, Leah takes one monumental step back from the relationship, and then severs all ties completely when Carter’s anger management issues become apparent during a dinner at which he had intended to reassure her that he wasn’t some domineering psychopath with, erm, anger management issues. But, Carter isn’t the type to let things go so easily, and what starts out as a case of stalking escalates into something far more deadly when Leah gets back together with her old boyfriend, Dave (Morris Chestnut – The Call, Kick-Ass 2).
The only positive comment that can be made about The Perfect Guy is that it does at least show its female protagonist enough respect to have her backtracking the moment she realises she’s dating a sociopath. Many movies would have her hanging around long enough for Carter to explode once more just to ramp up the tension, but, like most real women, Leah is smart enough to know that being a bad guy is a full time job. Sadly, that’s the only item in the credit column for The Perfect Guy. The third-tier cast struggles to make anything of a second-rate script which ignores anything that doesn’t fit its game plan, and Rosenthal shrouds most of the scenes in darkness. Michael Ealy was presumably cast because his clean-cut good looks are at odds with the common perception of violent psychopaths, but, even for someone working in IT, he’s about as frightening as a paper cup, and resorts to demonstrating just how evil he is by tilting his head forward and raising his eyes when anything displeases him.
Although The Perfect Guy is a bland, generic thriller, it does at least show its female protagonist a measure of respect in the way that it refrains from having her give Carter the benefit of the doubt just so that it can raise the suspense stakes. Sadly, that’s about the only positive thing one can write about such an ordinary movie. A third-tier cast struggles to do anything with a second-rate script. The film is so dimly lit that, like a child lifting a blanket over their head, it seems to have shrouded itself in darkness out of embarrassment. Michael Ealy is about as frightening as a paper cup – which is probably about right for IT personnel, when you think about it, and attempts to demonstrate the innate evilness of his character by tilting his head forward while raising his eyes and glowering, and you can spot the future victims of his murderous madness from their first lines. It ends exactly as you’d expect, with an impotent police force standing back with its institutionalised hands tied, while our plucky heroine saves herself. The Perfect Guy is watchable because you know it won’t stick around in your memory long enough to be annoying.
(Reviewed 7th August 2016)