Saturday 23 October 2021

Movie Review: Perfect (1985)

A drama and romance, Perfect awkwardly attempts to wedge two unrelated and underdeveloped stories into the same narrative. Predictably, both fail.

New York-based Rolling Stones investigative reporter Adam Lawrence (John Travolta) is attempting to secure an interview with businessman Joe McKenzie, who is under investigation for drug dealing. Concurrently Adam receives permission from his editor Mark Roth (Jann Wenner) to pursue a story about fitness clubs as the new singles bars. He travels to Los Angeles and visits the Sports Connection club, where he meets aerobics instructor Jessie Wilson (Jamie Lee Curtis).

She is not interested in granting Adam an interview because of a past bad experience with the press, but club regulars Sally (Marilu Henner) and Linda (Laraine Newman) are thrilled to be part of his story. Adam and Jessie start a romance, and McKenzie finally agrees to be interviewed, thrusting Adam into the middle of a high profile FBI investigation. He has to decide how to write both stories, and risks damaging his reputation and relationships.

Featuring endless scenes of women in leotards (with a few sprinkled men) jumping up and down, thrusting their hips, and gyrating their pelvises, Perfect is a mess. Director and co-writer James Bridges seems to know both his stories are unworthy of cinematic treatments, and so takes the easy way out by parking his cameras at the gym and sweating it out. One of the many problems is that all the extras bouncing in the aerobics classes already appear quite fit rather than working their way to fitness, an obvious Hollywoodian choice. A generic and forgettable soundtrack does not help.

The McKenzie plot never progresses beyond cursory headlines before suddenly occupying centre stage in a final, incongruous act. The revelation that fitness clubs are a mingling place for singles with over-clocked hormones starts and ends with a shrug. Not newsworthy and far from a basis for big screen drama, it is no surprise when the magazine fumbles the supposed exposé into a sordid hack job.

The film is saved from a total loss by the two photogenic stars. John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis both exude cool charisma and provide good visual distraction as they grapple with an asinine script. Travolta's Adam Lawrence is exceptionally poorly written, falling into the huge gap between sensitive and contemptible. Curtis is provided with a half-decent back-story and convinces as an energetic and confident instructor riding the wave of a fitness craze.

Perfect expends enormous physical energy, but stays in one place.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome reader comments about this post.