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This 'Perfect' romance offers only surface appeal

The romantic dramedy that presents a fantasy world where everyone’s gorgeous, affluent, lives in mansions, but is unfulfilled in love isn’t anything new. (See: all of Nancy Meyers’ work.)

But, in recent years, there’s been a spate of films such as “Think Like a Man,” “Think Like a Man Too” and “The Best Man Holiday” that feature predominantly young African American casts debating the nature of romance and sex between men and women with an uncensored and frothy abandon. “The Perfect Match,” directed by Bille Woodruff, makes this trend into a genre, though it lacks the sharpness of its predecessors.

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Terrence Jenkins stars as playboy bachelor Charlie whose world, and worldview, is rocked by an affair with a mysterious seductress, Eva (Cassie Ventura). Charlie’s domesticated friends want him to settle down, but his personally imposed rules about dating are strict. Eva wants something casual with no strings attached, and Charlie is more than happy to oblige but finds himself easily falling for her.

“The Perfect Match” is overly busy with a plot chock-full of small, underdeveloped dramas. There’s Charlie’s career as an agent for social media stars, as well as his overenthusiastic therapist sister, Sherry (Paula Patton), whose rapid-fire analyses let the audience know everything, and more, about Charlie’s childhood issues. Not to mention his friends who are dealing with everything from fertility to finances. But the proliferation of plot can’t cover up the shallowness of the story.

"No strings attached" turns out to be quite the entanglement and sends Charlie spiraling. But there’s nothing that a green juice and a talk with sis can’t fix. “The Perfect Match” is a slick fantasy — the houses stunning, the teeth blindingly white, the sex steamy. The facade the film offers is a lovely, and mildly diverting one, but there’s little insight to be found below the surface.


'The Perfect Match'

MPAA rating: R for sexuality, some nudity and language throughout

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing: In general release

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