HOLLYWOOD—I have to say this first and foremost, actor Michael Ealy excels at playing the bad guy. There is something charming that he alludes to in his villainous roles that just capture audiences. His work on the hit Fox series “The Following” proved his capabilities to go dark, but what he does with “The Perfect Guy” is just beyond insane.
When I first saw tidbits of the thriller, I automatically thought of Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba in the 2014 thriller “No Good Deed.” “Perfect Guy” has some shades of that flick, but more so examines the notion of a good relationship gone terribly wrong. Think perfect mate, who happens to secretly be a sociopath, who is relentless at getting what he or she wants. Note: women can be just as crazy as guys, “Fatal Attraction” anyone?
The movie stars Sanaa Lathan as Leah, a woman who has seemingly just ended her relationship with the guy who she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with, Dave, portrayed by Morris Chestnut. Jumping back into the dating scene she meets Carter portrayed by Michael Ealy who instantly charms his way into her heart. Instant attraction soon turns into lust that later becomes a burgeoning relationship, but once that glimpse of darkness is shown, everything changes.
Unable to grasp with the fact that his relationship with Leah is over, Carter becomes possessive and determined to make Leah’s life a living hell. He takes the level of stalker to new heights: hiding in closets, underneath beds and outside of shower doors. Ealy is beyond eerie in the role, and has a worthy opponent in Leah who refuses to lie down and die without putting up a helluva fight.
Director David M. Rosenthal delivers a dark and tantalizing atmosphere that brings a level of dread to the spectator as they take a ride on this rollercoaster that is full of surprises and twists. The story by Alan B. McElroy and Tyger Williams is well-paced; the audience is allowed to connect with the characters, as the narrative approaches its climax. Supporting players Kathryn Morris, Rutina Wesley, Holy McCallany and Charles S. Dutton all serve their purposes to further the plot.
Is “The Perfect Guy” going to win any awards for originality? No, but the film does earn kudos for crafting a psychological thriller that engulfs the viewer from its romantic start till its exciting conclusion. This is a movie that is an absolute fun-ride.