A good relationship composes of three things: love, communication, and trust. If it lacks in any of these departments, then it will most certainly fail. This has been depicted in many films, most recently being last year’s No Good Deed. The Perfect Guy, is the same concept with the same predictable script and doesn’t say anything new.
Leah (Sanaa Lathan) and Dave (Morris Chestnut) have been dating for two years; Leah wants to settle down and start a family while Dave wants to take it slow and keep things where they are. Leah decides to break up with him so she can find someone who will fulfill her needs. Two months later, Carter Duncan (Michael Ealy) comes within her radar. On the outside, he’s sweet, caring, and has the most beautiful blue eyes—everything that a “perfect guy” is made up of. However, when they break up due to his anger issues, Leah soon begins to see a more sinister side of him: one where he is stalking and ruining her life one step at life.
The script was so full of cliches that there was no room for originality or plot twists. Everything that you thought could happen, did happen. Leah even asks Carter, “Is this the part where you kidnap me and sell my organs?” when he takes her through a sketchy alleyway to get to a club. I was desperately waiting for something to catch me off guard but, when the credits rolled, my eyes rolled with them.
The pacing was the film’s biggest problem. The first act was composed in a mere 30 minutes with annoying, romantic background music straight out of a Hallmark movie. Most of the characters are deemed worthless or never appear again once Carter starts to change into a completely different person. However, that pacing never seems to slow down. Even when things got interesting, there wasn’t enough time to take it all in. Scenes never lasted more than three or four minutes resulting in a whiplash-inducing amount of cuts. Before we knew it, the characters were already off pulling another ridiculous stunt.
Lathan and Chestnut were alright in their performances but didn’t do anything spectacular. If anyone did a good job, it was Ealy. He did all that he could with such a two-dimensional character. He was able to pull off his chilling persona but, all in all, the character came off as cartoonish. He did all of these insane and abhorring things because she broke up with him? Yeah, I don’t think so. The typical keywords were thrown around like “bipolar” or “robot” but nothing that particularly warranted a back story. In fact, it seemed like they were going to go down an interesting path, but it was not taken advantage of at all. Was this the writers’ way of critiquing complex plots and character development?
The Perfect Guy is anything but. With The Gift completely blowing it out of the water with the same concept of a stalker thriller, I was thinking that this film might have done the same. Unfortunately, it just showed us that Lifetime- quality films can sneak their way onto the big screen.