A Perfect Man is directed by Kees Van Oostrum (Gettysburg, Thinner) and tells the story of Nina (Jeanne Tripplehorn – Basic Instinct, The Firm) and James (Liev Schreiber – X-Men Origins; Wolverine), an American couple married for nine years and living in Amsterdam together.
Nina has been aware for many years of her husband’s infidelity. However when she sees him with her best friend, the wife of his business partner, on the day of their 9th wedding anniversary, enough is enough.
After an overly dramatic public announcement, Nina moves out and goes to stay with her friend Lynn (Joelle Carter – Hi-Fidelity, American Pie 2). Lynn is a transsexual who has come to terms with herself and is more than happy to reacquaint Nina with the dating scene and casual sex. However they both seem to have a thing for overweight middle aged men.
In the meantime, James is making a mess of the house and generally being relentlessly pursued by women. Laura (Katie Carr – Raising Helen) is the daughter of one of his conquests and wishes to try him out for herself now that she has come of age. Martha (Renee Soutendijk – The 4th Man), Nina’s friend is convinced she is in love with him and leaves her husband Pieter (Huub Stapel – Amsterdammed). And of course his poor mother Abbie (Louise Fletcher – Cruel Intentions, DS9), who just wants to get him back on the straight and narrow. The poor lamb never stood a chance.
After far too long watching both of them fulfilling these stereotypical male/female roles, Nina decides to try and find his motivation by posing as a strange woman and starting a phone relationship with him. Cue the rest of the film,with no action bar Liev Schreiber with a phone attached to the side of his face.
There isn’t one specific thing wrong with this film to put your finger on. The story is okay, the dialogue is not bad, although a little childish and the acting is pretty good. It is rather hard to buy into the idea of all these women being so taken with Liev Schreiber though. I’ve seen worse admittedly, but he’s no oil painting.
I think my main problem with what they have done here is that they have taken a perfectly ordinary couple, living a perfectly ordinary life and turned it into a perfectly ordinary film. And I was hoping for more than that.
“I’m feeling a lot of things right now and freedom is very low on the list.”
A Perfect Man is available to buy now on DVD.