The Perfect Romance – review (Netflix)

     Oh my lord. A true contender for the worst film on Netflix. Alien Warfare is terrible and currently holds the title, in my opinion, of the worst film on Netflix. Peelers is a worthy challenger, a film that somehow managed to make nudity boring. However, five minutes into My Perfect Romance, shitty background music and amateurish editorial split screens aplenty, I am thinking that Alien Warfare may lose its crown. 

    Vivian Blair (Kimberly-Sue Murray) is a tech developer for Robinson Tech. When Ms Robinson (Morgan Fairchild) tells her son Wes (Christopher Russell), CEO of the tech company, that the company is falling and if he does not turn it around she may have to reconsider his position, Wes realises he needs to find a solution.

   In a board meeting to find a new product, Wes and the board members, are pitched a load of poorly thought out ideas by Derek (Andy Yu). In desperation, Derek tells the board about Vivian’s idea for a dating algorithms. Wes wants to hear the pitch for her app from Vivian. The board like the idea and Wes decides to go with it.

   Vivian does not like Wes and finds him chauvinistic and condescending. Wes’ brother, Ben (Adrian Spencer) gets him a spot on a morning talk show. Wes decides to take Vivian onto the show with him. Whilst on the show, they launch the app and Wes says he’s confident of its success, so much so that he volunteers himself and Vivian to be the first users. The host, Ted Reynolds (Joseph Cannata) invites them to come back with their perfect partner on Valentine’s day. They agree. 

   Vivian, with the help of her two closest co-workers, Justine (Zarrin Darnell-Martin) and George (Josh Dean), puts her details into the app. Wes, who does not believe in dating apps and is quite the ladies man, does not sign up. Vivian suffers a collection of poor dates and, due to her television appearance, is filmed on many of the dates. 

   Vivian and Wes’ love/hate relationship continues. Wes asks Vivian to attend his brother’s wedding as his plus one. With a little coercion from Wes’ PA, Adele (Lauren Holly), Vivian agrees to go to the wedding. Whilst at the wedding, George contacts Wes and tells him the app is failing. He is then contacted by his mother. She is not happy. The app is performing very badly and pictures of Vivian and Wes are on the internet. 

   Wes does not tell Vivian that the app is tanking. He kisses her instead and they leave the wedding. When they are alone, Wes tells her that the app is failing. Vivian is furious and leaves him on his own. Wes goes back to the office and is told some home truths by Adele. She tells him to pursue Vivian. He enlists the help of George and Justine.

    When they go back onto the morning show, Ted asks if they have found a match. Vivian says she has not had any joy. Wes confesses to not having put his details into the app until the night before. He says he has found a match. It is Vivian, she is his perfect match and he loves her. This all happens live on television and the app begins to flourish again. Wes tells her he loves her and asks Vivian to be his Valentine. The end. 

    Lord above this film is bad. This shows how hard it is for women over forty to find good roles in Hollywood. How Lauren Holly ended up in this is anybody’s guess. Morgan Fairchild, a legendary beauty in the eighties, is wasted in this film, having to fill in the blanks for an underwritten character. 

    Fairchild is not the only actor working uphill in this debacle. The script, by Stella Bagwell, who wrote the book that the film is based on, and Amanda McNiece is poor and makes the actors look bad. Only Holly, who seems to have ignored the script and ad-libbed, is passable. Everyone else spouts unfunny, unnatural sounding words. 

   As if the woeful script is not bad enough, the directing is not much better. Directed by Justin G Dyck – probably should change his name – there is a horrible and unnecessary obsession with split-screen that adds nothing to the film. Camera angles and shot selection is lazy and boring. The set design, however, is very good, with good costume design for the lead characters. 

     At ninety-one minutes, My Perfect Romance is a standard rom-com length, with the lacklustre script making it feel longer. Jodie Sweetin, who plays Michelle, Vivian’s sister, and Rhys Wyn Trenhaile, who plays her husband Riley, have no place in the film. Except for the addition of the pointless split screen, they add nothing of value to the story. 

    The central pairing of Russell’s Wes and Murray’s Vivian works in terms of chemistry, even in the very forced premise of the film. Rom-com’s, by their very nature, require a suspension of belief and for the audience to embrace the possibility of everlasting love. The Perfect Romance is too poorly executed to pull the audience in and take it on a romantic journey.

    So, is The Perfect Romance bad enough to knock Alien Warfare off of the top spot? Not quite. Truth be told, it does not even get on the podium for worse film, but that is only because of the actors and the set design. It is still a credible runner-up for the bad film awards. The Perfect Romance is far from perfect. Avoid.

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