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Saturday, Sep 25, 2021

“The Perfect Guy” offers an intense, believable thriller

Writers Alan B. McElroy and Tyger Williams have a way of finding horror in realistic situations.  They start with an everyday scenario, then ask, “but what if something goes wrong?”

For instance, take their recent film “The Perfect Guy,” a story about a career-driven woman who finds herself going from one unhealthy relationship to a nearly deadly next. The hero, Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan), fights to get her life back on track after it has taken a turn for the worse.

Vaughn, a prosperous lobbyist, has dedicated her energy into a long term relationship only to realize it’s going nowhere. She then decides to leave her boyfriend, Dave King (Morris Chestnut) in search of something more.

On her quest to find true love, she meets Carter Duncan (Michael Ealy), who seems to be the titular “perfect guy.” In seemingly no time, Duncan sweeps her off her feet with his attentiveness and thoughtfulness — not to mention he’s easy on the eyes.

But the attention he gives Vaughn quickly grows into an obsession, causing Vaughn to terminate the relationship.

After the break up, Duncan begins to find ways to invade Vaughn’s space even in her most personal environments, going so far as to affect the personal relationships she has built.

Clearly, Vaughn’s decision to end their relationship does not settle well with Duncan, and he becomes especially enraged after she decides to rekindle her previous relationship with King. Duncan resolves to destroy Vaughn’s future.

After contacting police detectives and finding no assistance, Vaughn decides to take matters into her own hands in order to cease Duncan’s madness.

The material in this movie fits well with the dramatic story lines Director David M. Rosenthal has in his previous body of work. Rosenthal, known for his work on films such as “Janie Jones,” puts together high-intensity scenes that capture a game of cat and mouse.

Many actors could have worked as well or better in the roles portrayed by Lathan and Chestnut, but Ealy’s portrayal of the obsession-driven Duncan is something special.

The abnormal personality traits he infused into the role provide an excellent foil for every other character’s influence on screen.

Overall, the film offers a believable, intense, and dramatic story that keeps its audience on their toes. Though the film certainly does not provoke change or revolution in its genre or the film industry as a whole, it works.


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