The Perfect Man Review
I think that there are a fair few people out there who could quite contentedly go through their entire existence on the planet without ever having felt the need to sit through a Hilary Duff movie. It's not that she's particularly irritating (although I'm sure that she is to some) or that she is particularly unattractive (although she is very young), it's just that the productions that she is involved in tend to have little more to them than what you would expect from an episode of Saved by the Bell. This is, of course, perfectly acceptable if you're still fourteen. Still, as cheesy, harmless, well-meaning fluff goes, she certainly is trying to corner the market.
The Perfect Man is all about finding the perfect man, funnily enough. Ironically, whilst it is Duff's character, Holly, who is searching for Mr. Right, she is not looking for herself, but in fact for her desperately lonely mother (although, that said, you can tell that sooner or later Holly will probably stumble into her own perfect man as well). You see, her mother's love life has basically consisted of an almost endless series of train-wreck relationships, each of which have led to her uprooting her two daughters and moving state.
After the latest debacle, which left Holly unable to go to her prom, she is intent on solving her mother's problem herself - by whatever means necessary - even employing sneaky schemes (like inventing a fake Mr. Right to put her mother off settling for the wrong man) to bring her happiness. What follows is a series of contrived situations where Duff has to (more often than not) run around like a headless chicken trying to keep up the pretence for her mother's benefit.
Of course, this being a Hilary Duff movie, nothing bad really happens, nobody really gets hurt and most of the characters leave the movie with the same smile on their faces that is intended for the audience as well. In this respect, the movie actually serves its purpose quite well. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to suddenly develop a Hilary Duff collection (and she still hasn't got any range whatsoever) but I can see how this kind of movie is the perfect pick-me-up feel-good tale for the right person at the right time. It's a teen version of Sweet Home Alabama, with a warm, bubby cast (that includes Heather Locklear as the mother and Sex in the City's Chris Noth as the would-be Mr. Right) and a sweet script and story (okay, so it does get sickly sweet at times).
Of course, this has all been done before, ever since Hollywood started reworking Shakespeare and various other classics, but whilst this version does not particularly add anything to the ever-burgeoning genre, fans of these kinds of movies are still going to be happy to see a new movie for them hit the shelves. Clearly biased towards girls rather than boys (and younger rather than older), this is a perfectly enjoyable (dare I say it) chick-flick that may just brighten somebody's day.