The Perfect Man, a romantic comedy starring Hilary Duff, isn't very good. And the problem for any self-respecting reviewer is how to critique it without taking the obvious cheap shots at its likable but over-exposed young star. Hilary's surname, after all, practically begs the one-liners. "Enough Duff" works. So does "Over-Duffed." Then there are the rhymes: "Duff Not Tough Enough" or "Duff Tough Stuff to Swallow." It's all too easy. But it's not exactly fair, either. Name and over-exposure aside, The Perfect Man's problem is not really its star. The real culprit is a story that manages to be simultaneously utterly implausible and completely predictable (no mean feat when you think about it), a story that relies on cringe-worthy dialogue sure to elicit at least the occasional groan from anyone over the age of, say, eleven. The script has only itself—and writers Michael McQuown and Heather Robinson—to blame. No amount of Duffing could save this turkey. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
Duff plays Holly Hamilton, the sixteen-year-old daughter of single mom Jean (Heather Locklear). Jean is rather anxious (read: desperate) to find a good man (read: any man) and settle down; not surprisingly her pathological neediness does not yield much relational fruit, leaving her to travel from one broken relationship to another. And "travel" is the operative word. Each time her love life hits the skids, Jean hits the road, dragging Holly and her kid sister Zoe (an adorable Aria Wallace) to a new "adventure" in an unfamiliar city. In the opening scenes, we learn that the winsome Holly has never had the chance to stay in one city long enough to attend even a single high school dance. And no sooner is she daring to dream a little and ...1
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The Perfect Man
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