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From Newsday.comRun, guys! It’s the blonde leading the blonde into dating hell (buffy mention)
By Jan Stuart
Thursday 16 June 2005, by Webmaster
No man’s land
THE PERFECT MAN (PG) Hilary Duff is back and Heather Locklear is stuck with her, as a frustrated teen and her romantically vulnerable mom. Pretty crummy, but let’s be thankful they’re not playing Electra and Clytemnestra. Chris Noth co-stars as God’s gift to women. 1:37 (mildly suggestive content). At area theaters.
If you are planning on seeing the new Hilary Duff comedy over Father’s Day weekend, show Dad how much you care. Leave him home.
While you’re in a thoughtful mood, spare all the men in your household: sons, kid brothers, visiting exchange students from Paraguay. If you have any male puppies, don’t house-train them on this review.
Duff’s newest PG-rated vehicle is so, like, NG (not for guys). It’s beyond your garden-variety chick flick. It’s Revenge of the Chick Flicks.
Consider the pedigree. "The Perfect Man" was written by a former performance artist who sold her soul to "The Princess Diaries" and directed by the imperfect man behind "A Cinderella Story," an earlier Duff tour de force. It was scored by the composer of TV’s "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and pulses to the same sort of brand-X bubble gum rock that added insult to the injury that was "What a Girl Wants."
All this for Duff, the personification of pink. Duff handles comedy as if she had been given two days to live: She weeps, giggles, bounces, swoons and crams more words into the space of one human breath than an auctioneer.
In this manner, she hyperventilates through the role of Holly, a very Duffish teenager with serious mother issues. Her single mom, Jean (Heather Locklear), is forever on the prowl for marriage material, a hunt of desperation that invariably throws her into the arms of bad-news men. Once they show their true colors, Jean sweeps up Holly and her kid sister and moves them to another state. Why? In movies wherein itinerant mothers without child support are able to afford spacious Brooklyn apartments with neo-classical interior architecture, it’s best not to ask.
Freshly installed in their new city abode, Holly decides to exert more control over her mom’s love life. She invents a phantom admirer based on tips from her pal’s Uncle Ben (Chris Noth), a dashing metrosexual who knows all the right moves.
While Jean dates a garrulous co-worker (Mike O’Malley), Holly turns into a cyber Cyrano, writing mom seductive e-mails in Ben’s name and depositing orchids at their front door. The more Jean leans toward this nonexistent lothario, the more tangled becomes Holly’s web of deceit.
A comedy that exalts vapid blondness tends to give anyone outside this ideal of humanity the short end of the stick. So, Jean is assigned a gratuitously jiving black female colleague, while Ben is delegated a mincing gay employee played by "Queer Eye’s" Carson Kressley (named Lance, no less), who makes that camping crew look like the Green Berets.
At a time when women are finally achieving parity in public bathrooms, it seems that their daughters should be clamoring for fairer treatment in summer-movie role models. Boys get Batman and Luke Skywalker. Girls get Little Suzy Matchmaker. If I had to subsist on a steady diet of Hilary Duff and Amanda Bynes, I’d be looking into sex-change specialists.
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