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There’s no such thing as ‘The Perfect Guy’

Erin Vierra

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When writing a movie about obsession, there are certain details one must construct in order to successfully create a suspenseful story. These details are almost always revealed in the same fashion:

  1. The Meet: When two characters have a chance encounter, mostly likely in a coffee shop, which is then followed by the male swooping in to save the female in some cheesy, romantic way.
  2. The Montage: The two characters fall in love— go figure. It allows the audience to see how perfect the guy is. He wins over both her friends and family and somehow wins audiences over as well.
  3. The Trigger: A moment when something happens that reveals the true and violent colors of the perfect guy. This detail opens up the female’s eyes and she gets out of the relationship quickly.
  4. The Obsession: He moves intensely into the stalker stage which involves breaking into her house, killing her pet and hacking into her computer.
  5. The Self Defense: The female lead is kicked and thrown around like a rag doll until she switches on her survival mode and fights back.

In the last decade, we have seen Hollywood bring out many attempts of recreating the best example of this formula, Fatal Attraction, with little prevail. “Obsession,” “Boy Next Door” and “No Good Deeds” are just a few of many knockoffs. The latest is “The Perfect Guy,” starring Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut.

The plot of “The Perfect Guy” has been recycled time and time again and yet, Hollywood keeps audiences thinking that they are seeing something new each time.

And it works. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, I was still excited to see what director David M. Rosenthal had in store for me.

The plot follows the basic storyline outlined before. Leah (Lathan) feels like her two-year relationship with Dave (Chestnut) isn’t going anywhere and quickly breaks it off with him. Having a chance encounter with a charming guy, Carter (Ealy), in a coffee shop and then later a bar where he saves her from an obnoxious drunk, the two magically hit it off. The love montage of scenes showing how perfect Carter seems to be follows.

Unsurprisingly, the rest of the film shows how psychotic Carter really is. He switches from nice guy to sociopath in a matter of seconds and doesn’t slow down long enough to let his actions sink in.

The nice thing is that the writing turns its heels by the end of the film, turning Leah from the dopey victim crying for help into a fighter. Although it’s nothing Jennifer Lopez didn’t do to her tormentor in “Enough.”

Although “The Perfect Guy” is enjoyable at times and watching Michael Ealy creep onto every scene with his piercing blue eyes and that charming smile had me going, it still wasn’t enough.

I’d rather stay home and watch “Fatal Attraction” for free.

Erin Vierra can be reached at [email protected] or @hippycinephile on Twitter.

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There’s no such thing as ‘The Perfect Guy’