The Perfect Man – movie review

Perfect Man

Hillary Duff and Heather Locklear star in The Perfect Man. Hillary Duff plays Holly, the daughter of a single mother, Jean (Locklear). Jean is desperate to find a good man. When she dates, she has high expectations for a lasting relationship and gets heart broken when the boyfriend leaves. Jean moves her and her daughters to a new town after each relationship where the pattern starts over.

Holly decides she is tired of moving when they settle in Brooklyn. She comes up with a plan to invent a secret admirer for her mother who is the perfect man so that Jean will be happy and they won’t have to move again. Holly gets lessons from her friend’s uncle and restaurant owner Ben played by Chris Noth in how the perfect man would treat a woman.

Meanwhile, Holly meets a boy at school and experiences her first love.

The show stealing performance was from Mike O’Malley playing Lenny – an overly enthusiastic but inept suitor for Jean. His idea of romance was a Styx concert, one of the funniest scenes in the movie.

I was expecting a “chic flick� with an over-the-top romantic dating movie. It even has the obligatory girls-dancing scene. However, the movie was well acted and not overplayed. Movies like this have a tendency indulge in the teenage angst and focus on the tears of the characters. The Perfect Man managed to avoid that pitfall for the most part. The scenes of conflict between Holly and Jean were kept brief and not overly emotional which served to subtly emphasize the characters’ problems. Even the girls-dancing scene was mercifully short.

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Girls-dancing scene

The biggest distraction in the movie came from the gay bartender at Ben’s restaurant. While some of his scenes were funny, the character did not have any impact on the plot and was irrelevant to the story. It seems the only reason he was in the movie at all was to provide a gay character. If not for his scenes where he comments on wanting to be with other men, the movie probably would have received a “G� rating.

This movie about women dating does have more to offer than a mere rehash of Mermaids or Sleepless in Seattle. The comedy is well done with good timing and the drama is not overplayed which offers a sense of realism.

3 stars (out of four)