Can a life-long playboy allergic to anything more than a one-night-stand open his heart to love? In the world of rom-coms, that answer is a big fat “Duh.”
In The Perfect Match, Charlie (Terrence J) uses his unmatched charm and looks to sleep with the most attractive women in L.A. Worried that Charlie will never open himself up to a loving relationship, his friends Rick (Donald Faison) and Victor (Robert Christopher Riley) challenge him to date only one woman for the weeks leading up to Victor’s approaching wedding. Charlie accepts, and immediately pursues Eva (Cassie Ventura). Upon first meeting, Charlie reveals he only has short-term relationships, while Eva tells him she’s only been in long-term ones, but is looking to switch things up and have more fun. As you can probably guess from here, Charlie finds himself falling for Eva, proving his friends right.
While clearly very formulaic, the plot does take one very welcome turn in the end in terms of where Charlie and Eva’s relationship leaves off. Still, it’s not enough to save this cookie-cutter rom-com. In defense of The Perfect Match’s well trod story, moviegoers probably aren’t going to see it with any expectations of shock or weightiness—rom-com lovers looking for an easy fluff film are sure to enjoy the movie, even if they forget all about it in a few weeks.
As if to make up for the predictable main plot, The Perfect Match is bogged down with a slew of uninteresting B-stories. Each member of Charlie’s friend group has his or her own bit of turmoil we explore in depth: Rick and Pressie (Dascha Polanco) are trying desperately to have a baby; Victor and Ginger (Lauren London) aren’t seeing eye to eye on how much money to spend on their wedding. On top of that, Charlie is trying to sign French Montana (who appears as himself) to his agency in connection to some new app he’s developing, and Charlie’s sister Sherry (Paula Patton) is confronting him about never coming to terms with the death of their parents. Oh yeah, both of his parents died in a manner that is never explained.
Lost in this whirlwind of storylines is the film’s central relationship between Charlie and Eva. While Eva is meant to be the love interest that breaks Charlie out of his obsession with solely sexual relationships, their connection appears to be purely physical. The film tries to deepen the Charlie-Eva relationship by having her encourage his passion for photography, and giving them similar tastes in art and television (Charlie is shocked to learn that Eva likes House of Cards). It all comes off feeling forced, though, and viewers are hard-pressed to find an actual reason Charlie would fall in love with Eva beyond her beauty. C–