Thursday, March 24, 2016

Movie Review #399: "The Perfect Match" (2016)

Movie"The Perfect Match"
Ticket Price: $9.75
Director: Billie Woodruff
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes
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Photographer and agent Charlie Mac (Terrence Jenkins) is a man who doesn't believe in love or relationships, leading to a life of random hookups with countless women. In the weeks leading up to his best friend's wedding, he makes a bet that he can be with one woman only until the wedding and not fall in love with her. He then meets Eva (Cassie Ventura), a woman who has only ever been in long term relationships, but is now looking for something with no strings attached. However, this may be the first woman Charlie has truly connected to enough to want more than just a one night stand. 

Billie Woodruff's "The Perfect Match" is, for the most part, a formulaic and cliche-ridden romantic comedy about a man who used to be a player who has finally found the perfect girl to settle down with, only to find out she is only interested in a no strings attached relationship. You know, that ol' chestnut.

Terrence Jenkins plays Charlie, the aforementioned player who is good looking, works out a lot, drinks a lot, is super rich, has a great job, and has always been a "sleep with them and then never call them" type of guy. His friends call him "the best ho they know." He has only ever wanted to make lots of money and sleep with lots of different women, so he does it. Cassie Ventura plays Eva, a woman Charlie can finally relate to, but is only looking for no strings attached casual sex. For the vast majority of "The Perfect Match," it's a paint-by-numbers rom-com with a lot of drama thrown in for good measure. The movie does veer away from the formulaic path here and there, but not enough to make it feel like it's real original or unique. With this being such a run-of-the-mill movie, it really should have some strong characters and good dialogue to elevate it away from the pack. Unfortunately the characters here, especially Charlie and Eva, aren't interesting at all. In addition, the people portraying these parts are not very good at acting. Ventura and Jenkins really need to take some more acting classes if they want to survive in Hollywood outside of the 'made for TV' style of performance. Seriously, they both acted stiff as a board for 96 minutes, apart from Charlie's one outburst at a party where Jenkins displays his completely laughable dramatic chops. The dialogue they have to work with isn't much better. It is clunky and unnatural, and it's delivered in a manner that makes us notice how painfully mediocre and awkward it is. The strongest parts of this movie come from its supporting cast, featuring Donald Faison (who we can always count on for a laugh), Dascha Polanco, Lauren London, and Robert Christopher Riley, who do a decent job in their parts, generating what little humor there is in the film. The laughs, however, are still sparse.

In addition to the acting and dialogue, the narrative feels messy, too. None of it flows well and feels very much like the first draft of a screenplay brought to life. When Eva and Charlie meet for the second time, she overhears him and his friends talking about their bet to get Charlie to stay with one woman until an upcoming wedding, but she still pursues him even though he was being sexist and knew his game ahead of time. It also feels like story lines and characters are introduced time and time again but never go anywhere, but what do you expect with a main character who has a revolving door of women at his disposal? It is also painfully obvious this movie is targeted directly at millennials because of its overflowing, heavy focus on social media and the trends that arise from it. At his agency, Charlie represents many YouTube, Vine, and Instagram celebrities, and they speak about it ad nauseum. He also takes an Uber several times, only wears Nike clothes and uses a specific kind of popular Nikon camera, blathers on and on about retinal scans and apps and phones, and even drops a painfully awkward, non-flowing conversation about "House of Cards," treating it as if it were some unearthed cult show like "Twin Peaks" or "Broadchurch." It's literally still on the air and just popular as it was when it was first released, why wouldn't they both watch it?! Oh, and if you ever want your audience to know a character is a shady douche-nozzle, just put them on a 'hoverboard,' because as soon as Abram, played by Beau Casper Smart, rolls in the room on one, we thought to ourselves, "yeah, super shady douchebag."

It's really hard to ignore the massive amounts of sexism in a movie like "The Perfect Match." More than one time, our eyes widened in shock as lines were uttered or scenes were set with only the male gaze in mind. It tries to flip the slut/player double standard on its head more than once, but this movie isn't really strong enough to accomplish what it sets out to do and even the playing field. We pretty much expected this level of chauvinism considering the nature of its plot, but at what point does that become a cop out for bad behavior and a problem in movies that will seemingly never change? In the end, this one is completely forgettable. It's neither bad enough nor good enough to leave a lasting impression on us...wait, what movie were we talking about? We have already forgotten it.

PS: Stop trying to make French Montana happen.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 4.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 31%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.
One year ago, we were watching"Run All Night"

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