Once upon a time there was a lady who had a shiny pearl. It glimmered in the dark and everyone else admired it except she so she replaced that pearl with what she thought was better, shinier and prettier pearls. She believed that all that glittered was gold. She believed in a falsehood until she realised that all that glitters is not gold.
That sounds pretty much like the storyline of so many romantic thrillers right? Okay, so here’s the one about ‘The Perfect Guy’. Thirty-six year old Leah (Sanaa Lathan) is in a relationship with Dave (Morris Chestnut) and is ready to take their relationship to the next level but Dave does more than drag his feet. He tells her that he does not want to lose her but also does not want things to ever change between them, all much to Leah’s disapproval. She then kicks him to the curb and a few weeks later she meets ‘the perfect guy’ in Carter Duncan (Michael Ealy).
Carter is everything a woman would want in a man. He oozes sex appeal, takes her to greater heights during sex, he is charming and is everyone’s saviour and even manages to melt the heart of Leah’s finicky father. Things however take a drastic turn when Leah bears witness to her knight in shining armour’s not so calm temper when he beats a man into a pulp because of a misunderstanding.
Now, we have all seen similar storylines in films like ‘Fatal Attraction’ and most recently Jennifer Lopez’s ‘The boy next door’, where a seeming suitable suitor turns into a beast when his affections are no longer reciprocated. ‘The Perfect Guy’ borrows from the latter but it is executed in such a way that it is not boring or make you feel like you have watched way too many films like this one before. Hearts start racing from the club scene where Leah and Carter dance like they are making love and end up in one of the clubs bathrooms. That scene alone makes one involuntarily rain popcorn on the rest of the audience. It also makes one blush profusely.
So many things could have gone wrong in the making of this film especially with regards to the pacing but they did not. Ealy’s psychosis is gradual but it completely blows you away. It is not hard to know why. Ealy is a great actor, he manages to switch from charming knight to psychopath in an instant with very little effort. Fans will remember that he also played a love to hate role in ‘For Coloured Girls’ where he is the father that dropped his kids out of a window. If you hated him then, then this time be prepared to have him not only tug at your heart strings but pull them apart.
Lathan is not very different in The Perfect Guy from her previous roles. She tends to come out a bit stronger with more badass in this one but that’s just it. Chestnut does not have too many scenes but he does manage to make everything gel together to give the audience a finished product that is not only worth watching but credible. However, the star of the show is definitely Ealy. He nailed his role and keeps you at the edge of your seat wondering watch he will do next.
Yes this may seem like a black rendition of ‘Fatal Attraction’, but don’t let that stop you from watching a really great thriller, your heart will race, you will scream, you will find yourself talking to yourself in some parts of the film, you will cover your eyes halfway in fear and breath heavily in anticipation and most definitely be on the edge of your seat which are all emotions and things one should experience when watching a thriller.