|PICTURE PERFECT (1997)|
Glenn Gordon Caron
|"I like men, men like me...but then somewhere in the last year or so, I've just gotten so screwed up."|
|Time: 100 mins.|
Official Web Site
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Not a bad foray into the feature film world for Ms. Aniston. However, if she wants to be thought of as more than TV star, she needs to choose better material than this. Granted this was her first time carrying a movie and if I were the studio I'd be careful too. Her role as an up-and-coming advertising executive gives her the chance to show her smart side, unfortunately the role is written to show off more of her physical rather than her mental assets. Not necessarily a bad thing, just nothing all that new. Of course, the only reason to watch this film is because of Aniston, so fans can't be to picky.
Kate is a talented, career-minded young woman trying to get ahead in the ad business. What she can't understand is why she's passed over for a promotion she's more than qualified for. The excuse her boss gives her is a real doozy. They don't want to reward someone who has nothing to lose (no car, no house, no debt) and everything to gain (money, power and access to big clients). Once she's at the top they fear she'll stop working so hard or take their accounts somewhere else. Something advertising bosses hate, or so the film tells us. Plus she doesn't dress for the job that she wants, which is fairly obvious from her wardrobe. I've never seen the clothes she wears in a corporate business environment. She's a sexual harassment suit waiting to happen.
In order to distract Kate from her initial disappointment, her direct boss and friend (Douglas), makes up a fake fiance for her (using a picture from a wedding she attended) to help her get on the latest, coolest account. Kate is uncomfortable with the lie at first, however, she knows she deserves the job and is aching to prove herself. Besides, she can always break off the "engagement" to Nick (Mohr) when the ruse is no longer needed. Once they see how good she is being married or single won't matter. Since he doesn't know about it, he won't get hurt. Being off the market, draws the attention of Sam (Bacon), a co-worker she's been dying to date. He's a real catch, only dating women who don't want a commitment or are engaged elsewhere. Why she would be interested in someone so shallow is a mystery. Bacon is amusing as the slimy Sam, but the role doesn't really give him much to do except look good. A treat for the ladies in the audience, but nothing he'll be remembered for.
What a surprise when their simple ploy gets ultra complicated. Since she didn't start the ball rolling, I felt bad for her when she's forced to produce him for the world to see. Apparently, bosses like to meet potential husbands, a loophole that didn't occur to Kate. Being a nice guy, Nick agrees to go along with the scenario, taking all the bitchy and dismissive crap she doles out. She doesn't mean to be awful, she's just trying to keep her job. In the end, after many sacrifices on his part, she finally realizes that she's actually in love with him. What's amazing is that he decides to give her a second chance. It's an interesting concept that almost works. I had a hard time believing any man would return to a woman who was so hurtful. However, one has to factor in the attractiveness of the lady in question. I'm sure there are millions of men around the world who would let someone like Jennifer be as evil as she wanted to be. Her character is redeemed at the end, so we can all leave the experience still liking Aniston.
The only reason PICTURE PERFECT is at all enjoyable is because of Aniston's charisma and energy. She's not only attractive, but funny and endearing even when she's doing things that are very, very wrong, which happens alot here. You root for her to get together with Nick even though, on the surface, she doesn't deserve someone as wonderful as him. It's not that she's evil, she just lets her ambition overtake her good intentions. Though not a huge stretch from her "FRIENDS" role, it does give her the chance to show a few other sides. Mohr is a little meek for a leading man, but his performance will tug at your heartstrings. Men like Nick are a rare find in the real world, so if you find one like him, grab on and never let go. Which isn't to say that's he's perfect. If he was, the film would be even more imbalanced with Jennifer coming out on the losing end.
My one big complaint about this film was the constant focus on Aniston's breasts. Her wardrobe was obvious and ridiculous considering her job in the film. Hookers show less cleavage. Her clothes took away from her character's credibility, on top of being incredibly distracting. I swear her boobs have more screen time than Kevin Bacon. She clearly has a great rack, but give it a rest already. I spent so much time wondering if she was going to pop out of her various low cut outfits, I missed half the dialogue. This is assuredly the only way producers could think of to get men into the audience, but it's beneath all the talent involved. Especially Aniston. Having seen a few of her big screen flicks, PICTURE PERFECT is definitely one of the best in her portfolio. That's not saying much, when one compares her to other A-listers. However, if you're a fan, you'll probably enjoy this fluffy treat.