Charlie is the sort of guy who goes out for a run and comes back to his house with a girl. That night, he’ll bring a new girl to a dinner party even though he’s supposed to be set up with a friend of a friend. As he tells his crew, “As soon as I have sex with them, it’s like all my interest magically disappears.”
Charlie (Terrence J, Tim Story’s THINK LIKE A MAN and THINK LIKE A MAN TOO) is a big-name photographer and agent who would rather live the life of a player than a boyfriend or, worse, a husband. Even when he’s hunted down by a past prey, he can’t help but stare at a woman and think of dropping her panties and forgetting her name.
His friends are determined to see Charlie turn from a sex-obsessed playboy into a settled man. Rick (Donald Faison, best known for his role on SCRUBS) and Victor (Robert Christopher Riley, the VH1 series HIT THE FLOOR) in particular are sure that Charlie could be the romance type. And so comes the challenge: Charlie has to date the same woman for a month or else fork over his right to giving the best man speech as Victor’s wedding. By coincidence (read: laziness from the screenwriters), it’s less than three minutes after that that Charlie meets Eva (singer Cassie Ventura, who will next appear in HONEY 3: DARE TO DANCE, also directed by Bille Woodruff). Soon, Charlie and Eva—who share the same passion for fruit smoothies, so there’s that—begin seeing each other, with Charlie pretending to be the romantic type and Eva wanting to try out a fling.
Such a general plot (More mature friends try to convince their immature pal to clean up his act, not because it’s immoral and it’s ruining their bond but because they need something to do for 96 minutes.) and such characters (dimensionless, cliché) are so familiar and worn that it would take a whole lot more than three bad screenwriters (Brandon Broussard, Gary Hardwick and Dana Verde, the guy who directed Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” music video and a cast of near-question marks to make any of THE PERFECT MATCH sufferable.
While the cast—chiefly J(enkins, for what it’s worth), Faison and Riley—appear to be having fun in their roles and hanging out, those behind the words and the camera don’t do anything amusing with what they have, although they may not be aware of this. This is a movie struggling to be hip, with text messages popping onscreen and characters namedropping everything from Snapchat to HOUSE OF CARDS. At one point, a rejoiced Rick screams, “My sperm count’s higher than Robert Downey, Jr.’s net worth!” on a city street. (This is all part of the trying-to-have-a-baby subplot, one of too many lumped throughout the movie to occupy the oversized cast.)
THE PERFECT MATCH is brimming with thin, eye-rolling attempts at laughs, romance and message (summary: “Karma’s a bitch, huh?”). It is weakly written and acted, with somehow less dimension than the “Un-Break My Heart” video.