Terminal Cuteness Adorable Cast Can't Cover for Shallow, Obvious Romantic Comedy
Gire, Dann, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Dann Gire Daily Herald Film Critic
"The Perfect Man"
1/2 out of four
Hilary Duff Holly Hamilton
Heather Locklear Jean Hamilton
Chris Noth Ben Cooper
Mike O'Malley Lenny Horton
Aria Wallace Zoe Hamilton
Ben Feldman Adam Forrest
Screenplay by Gina Wendkos. Produced by Marc Platt, Dawn Wolfrom and Susan Duff. Directed by Mark Rosman. A Universal Pictures release. Rated PG. Running time: 96 minutes.
Mother-daughter relationship comedies take a brutal slapping in "The Perfect Man," a screechy, shallow, obvious movie that would barely qualify as a Disney Channel project.
Forget perfect. This movie would be doing well to achieve occasional mediocrity.
The plot becomes instantly transparent the moment we meet the cast of characters, all of whom possess the depth of 8-by-10 glossies. But give them plenty of credit for being cute.
Heather Locklear, the hottie from countless TV series since the 1980s, plays Jean Hamilton, a remarkably immature, self-centered single mom who packs up and moves to a new town every time a romantic relationship goes sour.
She drags her daughters, 16-year-old Holly (Hilary Duff) and 7- year-old Zoe (Aria Wallace), along to Brooklyn. She gets a job at a local bakery (Jean makes a mean brownie), and Holly goes to a local high school.
There, a tough girl named Amy (Vanessa Lengies) inexplicably abandons her social circle and gloms onto the newbie, just in time to help her hatch the film's shopworn plot.
Holly has become tired of moving and wants to give Mom a reason to stay in Brooklyn.
Viola! She'll create a fictional admirer for Jean, a mysterious "perfect man" who will send her flowers and e-mails professing his love. …