The Perfect Guy is an old-fashioned thriller harking back to classic noir themes of emotional gas-lighting and stalking. Focusing on the breakup of successful professional woman Leah (Sanaa Lathan) due to conflicting interests her boyfriend, Dave (Morris Chestnut) and her subsequent relationship with the eponymous “perfect guy” Carter (Michael Ealy), the drama is a mostly well-aimed piece of nervous energy.
The film, something of a pot-boiler, follows Leah as she attempts to move on from her break up with the reliable and sensitive Dave. The primary problem with the pair is that she wants kids and he doesn’t. He’s more of the opinion that kids are great, but it’s even better when you see them for an evening and then leave them with their parents. This honest appraisal of potential parenthood soon results in Dave being shown the door, and Leah busying herself with her legal work.
Into this emotional whirlpool steps the charming, smart and sexy “corporate espionage and network protection” guy Carter (Michael Ealy). He soon works his way into Leah’s affections and bed, providing an excitement and sexual frisson that she may have otherwise been missing. Sadly for Leah it isn’t long before he shows himself to be morbidly jealous, overprotective to the point of insanity, and more than ready to beat the hell out of anyone even looking in her general direction. Taking these somewhat glaring character flaws into account, she distances herself from him, citing the obvious incident of him nearly killing a gas pump attendant who was innocently chatting to her. However, Carter refuses to give up and that’s when things start to get really ugly.
What The Perfect Guy lacks in subtlety and originality, it makes up for in some ways with a collection of intense action sequences and solid acting performances. However, there isn’t much in the way of character development and the film can’t escape its rather predictable plotting. However, it is by no means unenjoyable for all of that, and the pulpy take on the erotic/stalker thriller genre is reminiscent of similar (although superior) films such as Fatal Attraction and Sleeping With the Enemy. More than anything else The Perfect Guy leaves you wondering what it could have been with a bit more depth.