As a young woman, I’ve always been hyper-aware of my surroundings and my personal space. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, lessons in the importance of safety were constantly relayed to me. I was told to carry an extra $20 around with me at all times, walk with keys in hand, and to walk in middle of the street if it was dark and no one was around. Those lessons (passed down to me from my parents) have stuck with me into adulthood and I assume the same is true for most women who live in large cities. “The Perfect Guy” tells the story of Leah, who manages to forget all of the basic rules because she becomes single-mindedly fixated on the dream of a husband, kids, and a happily ever after. Naturally because of this, disaster ensues.
The talented and stunning Sanaa Lathan plays Leah who breaks up with her boyfriend Dave (Morris Chestnut) when he is unwillingly to agree to the timeline she sets for marriage. Leah quickly falls into a steamy affair with a new guy Carter, played impeccably by Michael Ealy, who appears to be the total package even sharing Leah’s desire for marriage and a family. Not so surprisingly, Carter isn’t quite the Prince Charming Leah thought he was. After displaying unfounded rage, which seemingly comes out of nowhere, Leah puts an end to their short affair. Of course, Carter doesn’t take too kindly to this, and he begins to rip her life apart piece by piece.
Though there are some good components in “The Perfect Guy,” mainly due to the fact that Lathan portrays a successful, independent, Black woman who is apologetically in control of her body and sexuality, and Ealy who successfully captures the maniacal and psychopathic character of Carter, the film unfortunately falls flat. It seems too far-fetched that such a powerful woman would let down her guard entirely, and allow a total stranger complete access to her and her loved ones. Perhaps it would have been more realistic if Lathan’s character was desperate, but she didn’t come across that way at all.
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Image: Screen Gems/ Sony Pictures