Review: ‘Perfect Match’: Rom-com with little rom or com
You’ll see most of the plot developments in “The Perfect Match” coming a mile away, but the nominal surprise of this rom-com is in how the filmmakers barely manage to push their characters through even those basic beats.
The film follows Charlie (Terrence Jenkins), a young lothario who pathologically rejects long-term relationships until he discovers the enthralling Eva (Cassie Ventura). His more committed friends have their own problems. Married couple Rick (Donald Faison) and Pressie (Dascha Polanco) are struggling to conceive, and Victor (Robert Christopher Riley) is balking at fiancée Ginger’s (Lauren London) expensive taste in weddings.
It’s no surprise that these situations all have happy endings, but none are earned with anything approaching a solution. The two supporting couples simply argue for most of the movie, and then at a certain point in the third act everything coasts to a resolution. No one talks it out; things are just suddenly fine because the film’s three writers need them to be.
No spoilers here on what happens with Charlie and Eva. But the biggest third-act development for Charlie is an extended bit of sophomoric psychoanalysis from his therapist sister (Paula Patton), a double for the writers, who explains Charlie’s failings to himself — and, by extension, us — in dopey detail. The plot never really develops so much as it just coasts.
Amidst all this self-satisfied dramatic inertia, romance is expressed mostly in a series of abrupt sex scenes that just barely earn the film’s R rating and otherwise stick out like a sore thumb. The laughs are scant — although “Scrubs” alum Faison scores most of them, to his credit.
“The Perfect Match” is a romantic comedy by default, and mostly everyone involved is asleep at the wheel.
Patrick Dunn is an Ann Arbor-based
‘The Perfect Match’
Rated R for sexuality, some nudity and language throughout
Running time: 96 minutes