The Perfect Guy (2015)
Directed by David M. Rosenthal
The 1990s produced more than its fair share of incredible movies. But it also started a ridiculous strain of romantic thrillers that saw strong leading ladies crawling on the floor away from the man they thought they loved. Knives and furniture (and then, eventually, the man’s discarded gun) are the weapons of choice. More often than not, the man won’t go down until after a few bullets. Movies like “Sleeping with the Enemy” and “Enough” typified the form, but 2015’s “The Perfect Guy” shows us that it’s still around if you look hard enough.
Successful lobbyist Leah (Sanaa Lathan) and her boyfriend Dave (Morris Chestnut) are the portrait of a happy couple in public, but there’s a rift that’s been growing between them. Leah wants to settle down, but Dave isn’t ready. He says he’s going to move on his own schedule. So Leah kicks him out. Months down the road, Leah meets the perfect guy, Carter (Michael Ealy), an IT professional who treats her like a lady and even wins over her hard-to-please daddy. But after he snaps one evening, beating up a man after an innocent mistake, Leah can’t continue seeing him. But “no” isn’t an answer Carter is willing to accept. Detectives can’t find evidence, a restraining order fails to keep him away, and even Dave—now back together with Leah after some time to clear his head—can’t stop Carter from keeping constant tabs on his woman.
Screenwriter Tyger Williams’s only other writing effort, “Menace II Society,” released 22 years ago—for “The Perfect Guy,” Williams seems to have recycled a movie plot about as old. This one is totally ‘90s. Heck, even in the ‘90s this would have been bad. Weird scene transitions (who fades into scenes anymore?) and an overly romantic, piano-heavy score round out an all-around bad effort on the part of filmmakers. Working with such a bad script, it’d be hard to play any role convincingly. Carter comes across as unlikable from the start, but I’d bet that has more to do with Ealy’s stiff acting than anything else. The cast seems to be simply going through the motions, following sloppy directions in the hopes of coming off as genuine. It doesn’t work. Terrible movies of this sort can save itself with a few jump scares or some suspense, but this story moves too quickly to even build any interest. Characters have no context, no background. Why was Carter so obsessive? The characters’ histories were so thin and flimsy, awkwardly stuffed into conversations in an attempt to give them some depth. Nothing could help this paper-thin plot, though. “The Perfect Guy” might have been creepy if it wasn’t so predictable. Nothing stood out as something we’ve never seen from this genre before. I hope you have better luck keeping your distance.