The Perfect Man (2005)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 13-Dec-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Get The Dirt!
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Featurette-Mom & Me
Featurette-Getting The Perfect Look
Featurette-The Clever Clapper
Featurette-Ready, Set, Soak, Shoot!
Featurette-The Sweet Arts-Creating The Cakes
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-On The Set With Hilary - Blogs And Buddies
Featurette-Hangin' With Hilary
Featurette-Hangin' With Heather
Featurette-Chattin' With Chris
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 96:27
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Mark Rosman
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Hilary Duff
Heather Locklear
Chris Noth
Aria Wallace
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Christophe Beck
Joe Lervold


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Hungarian
Dutch
Danish
Finnish
Hebrew
Icelandic
Norwegian
Swedish
English Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Danish Audio Commentary
Finnish Audio Commentary
Norwegian Audio Commentary
Swedish Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Hilary Duff. Her name alone is probably all most people will take into account when deciding on whether The Perfect Man is worth their time and money. Odds are that if you are a tweenage girl you will already want to check this out and if you're the parent of one, you're wondering whether you can be bothered sticking around while the kids watch it. For my money, this one is worth sticking around for.

    Hilary Duff plays Holly Hamilton. She lives with her mum Jean (Heather Locklear), a cake decorator, and much younger sister. Where they live is the driver of the story. Jean has never had much luck with men. She always takes the first that comes along, no matter how flawed, and as soon as everything ends in tears - as it always does - she packs up the family and moves far away.

    All this moving means Holly has lots of friends all over the country, but none that she feels terribly close to. Holly keeps in touch with all these friends via her blog, which also acts to narrate the story.

    When they move to Brooklyn, Holly finally decides she's had enough of this "Gypsy" lifestyle and decides to create the perfect man for her mother to dissuade her from picking up the first dud to land on her doorstep. She takes advice from her new best friend Laura's (Vanessa Lengies) uncle Ben (Mr Big, Chris Noth, is the ladies man all over again!) to create this man - unbeknownst to him. The two girls even go as far as to take his picture to be the face of Mr Right, who courts Jean by letter and email. It all seems like a clever plan until Jean wants to meet her fictional lover and really turns into chaos when Ben and Jean almost cross paths.

    The supporting cast is frequently what makes or breaks formulaic fluff. In the case of The Perfect Man, they make it. A somewhat subdued Carson Kressley's Lance, head waiter at uncle Ben's restaurant, steals enough scenes to amount to grand larceny. To be honest, I had hated Kressley since he exploded into show business with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but his performance in The Perfect Man really hit the mark. Mike O'Malley (notorious for having one of the most quickly cancelled TV shows ever in the US) also rings in a good performance as Lenny, a potential suitor for Jean whose life is stuck in the 1980s.

    The Perfect Man is a decidedly above average piece of Duff fluff that will keep both tweens and adults entertained. It may be formulaic, but that's not a bad thing when the formula works. This is a definite a step up on both A Cinderella Story and Raise Your Voice, Hilary's last couple of star vehicles.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The Perfect Man is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The video is of a very high standard and features consistently high bitrates. The colours are vivid, skin tones natural and the shadows clear. There are no significant grain or MPEG artefacts.

    The subtitles do deserve special mention. Not only is a wide range of subtitles are available, but they are available on everything - all the special features including the commentary track.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Two audio tracks are available, English and Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, encoded at 384kbps. This is a relatively low bitrate for 5.1 audio, but that is not really an issue in this type of movie as the focus is on dialogue and music rather than crashes and explosions.

    The dialogue throughout the movie is clear and never significantly overpowered by the music or effects.

    The surround channels are used to good effect, enhancing the mood without drawing obvious attention to their presence. The subwoofer does get a reasonable workout when the music gets going.

    The score is fairly standard for a romantic comedy, light orchestral music centred around a piano. Nothing to write home about, but very appropriate to the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There is a huge range of extras on show that, despite each being quite short (sub 5 minutes), are likely to keep fans of the movie occupied for hours - Talk about a cheap babysitter!

Main Menu Introduction

    The disc opens with the annoying anti-piracy ad that features on a number of discs. It can't be skipped, but can be fast forwarded.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    This disc has some of the best DVD menu animation and effects I've seen. A series of cubes containing clips and stills from the film move around as options are selected with cool whooshing effects!

Audio Commentary - Get the Dirt!

    A fairly informative commentary from the director and an executive producer is included. Whilst I found it interesting, it doesn't really fit the fun tone of the rest of the extras. A commentary from the stars would probably go down a lot better with the intended audience.

Deleted Scenes

    Almost 20 minutes of deleted scenes are featured, including a significantly different beginning and ending. All are pretty rough quality, but quite watchable.

Outtakes

    A pretty standard blooper reel. All the bloopers are pretty rough quality, but quite watchable.

Featurette - Mom & Me

    A short featurette with Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear talking about playing mother and daughter.

Featurette - The Clever Clapper

    An incredibly short (around 1 minute) featurette about the film's clapper loader - a man who obviously has too much time on his hands between takes!

Featurette - Ready, Set, Soak, Shoot!

    A fluff piece about how one of the funnier scenes was put together.

Featurette - The Sweet Arts - Making the Cakes

    A look at some of the fancy cakes the film features and Heather Locklear's inability to make them herself!

Featurette - Getting the Perfect Look

    This is probably the pick of the extras, a makeup and costume featurette featuring plenty of Carson Kressley digging through the costume trailer.

Featurette - On the set with Hilary - Blogs and Buddies

    A short behind the scenes featurette that incorporates everything that didn't quite fit into the other featurettes.

Featurette - Hangin' with Hilary

    A short interview with Hilary Duff. This and the other interviews are nothing more than promo fluff pieces, but likely something the intended audience will get a kick out of.

Featurette - Hangin' with Heather

    A short interview with Heather Locklear.

Featurette - Chattin' with Chris

    A short interview with Chris Noth.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 edition of the film is identical in terms of extras, but features Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks in place of the Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 track on the local release.

    Region 4 is PAL and Region 1 NTSC.

    I'd consider the two versions even overall.

Summary

    The Perfect Man is an above average piece of Duff fluff that has been given a very good treatment on DVD - both in terms of transfer quality and extras. It is likely to appeal to an adult audience, particularly a female adult audience, nearly as much as it will to the tweens it was made for.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, August 11, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDLG V8824W, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D512
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews
Web Wombat - Clint M

Comments (Add) NONE