Hot Take: A Swiss cheese thriller with a microwave plot. It melts away your give a shit for characters who are initially charismatic (except for Michael Ealy’s Carter Duncan who is a batshit lunatic) but seriously lack fundamental impulse control.
With the speed of an Indy racer, a two year relationship dissolves when Leah (Sanaa Lathan) sees boyfriend Dave (Morris Chestnut) showing the ability to goof around with a child (which means he’s going to be a great father) but Dave talks crass about the possibility of fatherhood and, well, done with that guy!
Two months later (skipping those two months, of course, because this movie has to move like the zombies in 28 Days Later), Leah runs into Carter (Michael Ealy) in a restaurant bar while waiting for her friend. (She previously ran into Carter in a coffee shop on the morning of her McBreakup with Dave.) Carter swoops in, saves Leah from some annoying drunk white guy (credited as Mr. Inebriated) trying to pick her up and, after resisting her advances for about a half second, agrees to an on-the-spot date.
Although he was looking for a one-and-done date (without the hit-it-and-quit-it which should have been our first sign Carter is completely off his rocker), Leah charms Carter into making out with her and going on a second date.
After some cliché public sex in an underground club, Leah speeds up the dating game by inviting Carter to meet her parents. Carter agrees. The two visit mom & dad. Her parents are blown away. Leah asks mom when she knew she was in love with dad (because she’s pretty sure she’s feeling Carter that way) and the four share a great family moment.
On the way back, Carter tells Leah he loves her and they stop for gas. Another random guy talks to Leah (this time about Carter’s kick ass ride) and Carter gives him a healthy beat down. Without thought or discussion or even a night to think about it, Leah calls off the relationship.
The rest of The Perfect Guy features Ealy’s Carter as jilted lover gone psycho stalker, Lathan’s Leah as scared ex trying to get out and every character acting on impulse and making decisions like they are in the lightning round of life. All the elements of the “bad breakup” movie are there. Unfortunately, all the elements of the bad “bad breakup” movie are there, too.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- There’s Something About Leah
Sanaa Lathan oozes charisma as Leah Vaughn. Or maybe it’s the way every guy looks at her. The set-up goes by so fast it’s hard to remember but everybody loves Leah.
- There’s Some Familiar Supporting Cast Members Who Are Solid In Their All Too Brief Stays On the Screen
There’s the really pale detective from “Cold Case”, Tara from “True Blood” and Roc from “Roc”. Too bad there isn’t more to this story. There’s a whole heck of a lot of wasted on-screen talent.
- There’s A Cat
Leah has a cat. The cat should have gotten more screen time.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Perfect Guy Is As You’d Expect… Like Every Step Of the Way, As You’d Expect… It’s So Much As You’d Expect, You’ll Be Shocked
Maybe that’s the twist? It’s like a paint-by-numbers thriller. If the paint-by-numbers kit was a circle with the number one in it and the kit came with one color.
- The Music Is Looney Toons Cartoonish
The happy scenes have very hokey cheery instrumentals. The tense scenes have very hokey dark instrumentals. They are so generic and over-the-top you’d think they were put in as a placeholder but then left in because they just couldn’t sit through one more edit of this movie.
- At Least Lifetime Has the Decency to Be Part of a Basic Cable Package
You’ve seen this movie on Lifetime before. A couple of times. At least the Lifetime Movies never have the guts to charge $12 for a ticket.