DVD Review: The Perfect Man
Release Date: November 1, 2005
Distributor: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
· Mark Rosman
· Hilary Duff
· Heather Locklear
· Chris Noth
· Aria Wallace
· Carson Kressley
· Mike O'Malley
· Caroline Rhea
by R.J. Carter
Published: November 6, 2005
Men cheat on Jean -- although how anyone could cheat on Heather Locklear is a mystery -- and every time they do, she uproots her two kids, Holly and Zoe, and moves them across the country. As a result, Holly (Hilary Duff, "Cadet Kelly") never makes any long-time friends. Zoe (Wallace), the spelling fanatic, is to young to be taken back by it much, but it's really starting to wear on Holly. She blogs her gripes nightly at her "Girl on the Move" website, when not helping Jean scan a new picture into Match dot com.
Jean's latest job is working at DeMarco's Groceries for Gloria (Caroline Rhea) where she fends off flirtations from "stuck in the 80s" bread manager Lenny (Yes Dear's Mike O'Malley) while Holly takes an interest in budding comic book artist, Adam (Ben Feldman). But it doesn't take long before Jean's self-interest to get in the way of Holly's life again, and Holly's seen the writing on the wall too many times before:
Working with her friend Amy (American Dreams' vanessa Lengies), Holly concocts a plan to create a fictional "perfect man" for her mom, a "secret admirer," using Amy's hunky Uncle Ben (Chris Noth) as a template. One lie leads to another, and soon there's a whole house of cards that Holly has to keep stable as Jean grows more intent on meeting the mystery man -- and Holly starts using more than just Ben's words to keep her mother in one place. Which might be fine, but Ben appears to be in the midst of planning his own wedding. Meanwhile, her relationship with Adam starts to frighten her, and Jean realizes the one trait she's passed on to her daughter is one she never recognized in herself.
"It always starts the same. She starts out hopeful, and when the perfect man doesn't come around in two weeks she gets desperate, hooks up with some loser, some guy who's not even good enough to mop the floors, and then when it doesn't work out -- because it never works out -- we pack up and move again, and there's nothing I can do about it. I can't even run away, because that's what she does." -- Holly
Part "You've Got Mail", part "The Parent Trap", "The Perfect Man" is not the perfect film. There's more meat in the popcorn than in the movie. Formulaic and predictable, with each plot twist telegraphed well inadvance, "The Perfect Man" is nonetheless cute and mostly family friendly. Carson Kressley (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) provides comic relief as an overtly gay bartender at Ben's bistro -- and watch for Styx's Dennis DeYoung playing a DeYoung impersonator for a Styx cover band.
Everybody dance now!
(l to r) Heather Locklear, Aria Wallace, Hilary Duff
Previews on this disc include "Kicking & Screaming", "Madagascar", Will and Grace the final season, and a well-done Curious George advertisement for Dolby Digital.
The Bonus Features include over 20 combined minutes of deleted scenes (including the alternate opening sequence) and outtakes. In the featurettes, Hilary and Heather talk about playing mother and daughter, and Carson Kressley steers the talk about the hair, makeup and wardrobe sessions for the movie. There's a "What the...?" short about how the clapper board was decorated differently for every day, a "behind the scenes" look at the sprinkler scene, and an interesting peek at the creation of the beautiful and extravagant wedding cakes used in the film. Calling these features "bonus" is a bit of a stretch. Fortunately, there's another bonus that's not kept in the bonus section. The film's optional commentary (with Mark Rosman and Adam Segal) is an option off the Languages menu, along with settings for audio in English, Spanish or French 5.1 and optional subtitles in those same languages.