The Perfect Find, starring Gabrielle Union and Keith Powers, is a rom-com about finding love at a mature age. Union plays Jenna Jones, a woman who had it all – the perfect relationship, the perfect job in fashion – and then she didn’t. Her partner of ten years breaks up with her, she makes a mistake that blows up her career, and spends a whole year at rock bottom. Does this premise sound a tad familiar? Well, maybe because it’s the literal baseline for all Netflix rom-coms – check out A Tourist’s Guide to Love to see what I’m talking about.
After the one year pity parade, her mom kicks her out of the house, telling her it’s time to get back on her feet. Jenna’s search for a job leads her to Darcy (Gina Torres), a mercurial woman in charge of fashion media company, who gives her one month to create valuable change in the company – otherwise she’s out. Eric (Powers), Darcy’s son, is tasked to work with Jenna as her videographer.
Sparks fly between Jenna and Eric, and soon they find themselves unable to keep their hands to themselves. Union and Powers have terrific romantic chemistry with each other, and the film also does a great job in building common ground between the two. They’re both passionate about their work and enjoy old Hollywood movies, so the best parts of the film are their conversations, be it pillow talk or at work.
However, despite how well they get on, Jenna tries to create distance because of their age difference, and the fact that he’s the boss’ son. Eric is less hung up over the fact that she’s an older woman, so he gets frustrated when she hides their relationship at work and at public gatherings. The film even contrasts Jenna’s interaction with Eric versus her interaction with a more age appropriate man, asserting that what’s appropriate may not always offer a proper precursor to love. Eric and Jenna’s relationship is tested once more when her ex Brian (DB Woodside) comes back into the picture, and Jenna has to consider if she should go back to the familiar, or take a chance on something that could possibly break her heart.
The Perfect Find actually has pretty good momentum, until it hits the climax and resolution. Most of the conflict makes sense, and then we get an emotional explosion that suddenly makes things so dire, and in deciding to go down this route, the film writes itself into a corner. This marks quite a tonal shift, especially when we consider the frothier, lighter segments of the movie before that. This makes the reconciliation difficult, and in order to emerge from the screenwriting wreckage, a certain element is added to the resolution, a choice that feels absolutely tacked on and bizarre. Despite the happy ending, which is expected in rom-coms, the conclusion can feel like a bit of a sour note for viewers.
It’s a shame. If the movie had just focused on what made it good, and reduced the number of complications, The Perfect Find could have been a decent rom-com to throw on for date night. As it stands now, it falls short of perfection.
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Where the film excels is the romantic chemistry between Gabrielle Union and Keith Powers. There's banter, sizzling tension, and the mega charm of both leads. And then the conclusion ruins everything that's been established before.
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