THE PERFECT MAN
Imperfect, But Pro-Family
Starring: Hilary Duff, Heather Locklear
and Chris Noth
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Mark Rosman
Executive Producer: Billy Higgins
Producer: Marc E. Platt, Susan Duff and
Writer: Michael McQuown, Heather
Robinson and Katherine Torpey
Address Comments To:Bob Wright, Chairman/CEO
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Vivendi Universal Entertainment
Stacey Snider, Chairman
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
The latest place for Jean is New York, and Holly and Zoe (Aria Wallace) adjust again to new schools and lives. Determined to stay in one place for more than two months, Holly invents a fictitious PERFECT MAN to romance her mom. Holly’s creation mirrors her friend’s Uncle Ben (Chris Noth), the owner of a local restaurant. Her mother is thrilled by the flowers, emails and pictures from “Ben,” and Holly is relieved to see her family happy, if only for a short while. At last relaxed in her new environment, even jaded Holly eyes a romance with a friend from school. However, when the real Ben crosses paths more and more with Jean, the deception gets out of hand. As Holly struggles with the damage control from her lies, she knows she must find a way to confess the truth to her mom.
As a summer movie goes, THE PERFECT MAN maintains a lively pace, but the plot hinges on a romanticized view of life. Jean daydreams her way through the movie, hoping for a soulmate to arrive and immediately complete her existence. The realist Holly is criticized for “not believing in love” and being cynically resistant to its ways. It is Holly, however, who communicates the valuable messages of the story. She condemns her mother’s excessive flirtation and embarrassing desperation to find a man. Jean’s self-centeredness becomes the target of Holly’s anger. She hates that her mother is blind to the faults of men and that Jean allows her own desires to interfere with Holly and Zoe’s lives. She convinces her mom to finally acknowledge her mistakes and the harmful effects they have had on her daughters.
Holly’s words eventually hit home for Jean, and the movie takes a turn for the better. Romance is placed second to values such as family, self-worth and facing one’s problems without running away. Resolving to be a better role model for her kids, Jean puts into practice the knowledge that she does not need a man to be significant as a person. Sadly, this sentiment is only a step in the right direction. The movie lacks any mention of God as the true provider of worth and guidance. The only reference to God comes in the form of an exclamation from an openly homosexual character.
THE PERFECT MAN is a light comedy with moral lessons on prioritizing family and recognizing worth in oneself and one’s gifts instead of one’s dating status. Hilary Duff takes on another typical teenage role with Holly and her antics, but other minor characters add some much-needed humor and energy to the movie. Predictably cheesy moments aside (and there are more than a few), it is a fairly entertaining way to spend a summer afternoon. Rated PG, the movie keeps objectionable material at a minimum, but there are some light suggestive references and a homosexual character.
THE PERFECT MAN is a light comedy with moral lessons on prioritizing family and recognizing self-worth and one’s gifts instead of one’s dating status. Eventually, Holly convinces her mom to acknowledge her mistakes and their harmful effects. Ultimately, romance takes second place to values such as family, self-worth and facing one’s problems without running away. Predictably cheesy moments aside, THE PERFECT MAN is a fairly entertaining way to spend an afternoon, with objectionable material kept to a minimum.