“The Perfect Find,” a Netflix adaptation of Tia Williams’ novel, holds promise with its intriguing plot and an impressive cast that includes Gabrielle Union, Gina Torres, Keith Powers, and Aisha Hinds, among others. However, the film stumbles in its delivery, presenting a narrative that often feels scripted and lacks emotional depth.
Gabrielle Union takes the lead as Jenna, a 40-year-old woman grappling with a failed decade-long relationship, a stagnant career, and a looming financial crisis. Union’s character is intriguing in theory but falls flat in her portrayal. We see Jenna’s struggles, her desperation, her highs, and lows. Yet, Union fails to connect with the emotional undercurrents that drive Jenna, making the character’s decisions appear abrupt and unconvincing.
Jenna’s sudden hiring at Darzine, a fashion house owned by her supposed nemesis Darcy (played by Gina Torres), lacks tension or any realistic struggle. The lack of negotiation, conflict, or even any compelling conversation leaves the viewers wanting more. Similarly, Jenna’s impulsive decision to say “I love you” and make out with a young man she’s just met feels out of sync with her character who’s reeling from a lengthy failed relationship.
Keith Powers plays Eric, a recent USC Film Masters graduate and the young man who unwittingly falls for Jenna. Eric’s character is meant to exude a maturity beyond his years. While Powers does a commendable job in parts, the character’s maturity disintegrates around his mother (Darcy), reducing him to a childlike persona. This discrepancy is especially problematic considering the film attempts to explore the age gap in Jenna and Eric’s relationship. There’s a missed opportunity for a meaningful heart-to-heart between Eric and Darcy, wherein Darcy finally acknowledges her son as a grown man.
Moreover, the chemistry between Jenna and Eric remains elusive throughout the film. Their relationship, which forms the crux of the story, seems rushed and superficial. Declarations of love appear moments after their first meeting, leaving the audience struggling to invest in their connection.
The film also overlooks key aspects of Jenna’s character development. Her passion for her work, which is hinted at being a roadblock in her relationship, is abruptly cut short when she is fired from Darzine. Following her dismissal, Jenna mentions a teaching job she has taken up and enjoys, yet the film never takes us into this new phase of her life.
“The Perfect Find” does attempt to bring something fresh to the table with its exploration of an age-gap relationship and a career rebound story. Yet, these topics remain largely unexplored, with the plot quickly unraveling under deeper scrutiny. Eric’s response to his mother’s overbearing treatment, the rush of Jenna’s and Eric’s relationship, and the lack of chemistry between the lead characters are all signs of missed opportunities that could have provided more depth to the narrative.
In its current form, the film feels like a rehearsed narrative that sacrifices authenticity for a predictable plot progression. While the cast offers watchable performances, the lack of dimension in their characters and an underdeveloped storyline make it hard to recommend for anyone seeking an engrossing cinematic experience. As such, it garners a modest two stars, credited primarily to its intriguing premise and the potential it promised.
“The Perfect Find” is a film that aims for depth but misses the mark, delivering a story that lacks the emotional complexity and authenticity required to make it truly resonate with its viewers. Despite its appealing cast and ambitious premise, it fails to connect on a deeper level, resulting in a viewing experience that leaves much to be desired.
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