Picture Perfect3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Picture Perfect could be a participant of the must-see TV series – and not only because Jennifer Aniston has a leading role. It is identical to an inconsistent sitcom that can be resolved in thirty minutes, commercials included. This romantic comedy, co-written by three writers, sparks little romantic sparkle and even less comedy. In fact, the biggest joke in Picture Perfect is played for the audience. The script expects us to believe that a woman with cover-girl good looks named Kate (Jennifer) has trouble finding a date. (Living in Chelsea and sipping martinis in restaurants emblazoned with the rainbow flag doesn’t help her cause).
The film’s opening scene, in which Kate fools around with a guy on the sofa, coupled with witty dialogue about condom use, can be safely forgotten. This feather-light comedy quickly shifts gears when Kate goes to a wedding without a date. Poor Kate: she wears a lonely stare, drinks alone and, in a rare amusing moment, is forced to catch the bridal bouquet by herself. Call me cynical, but I relish the idea of a beautiful person who has it all struggling with a little pitiful loneliness.
Maybe Kate doesn’t have it all. She works as a middle manager at an ad agency, yearning for a promotion, but unfortunately she’s pitted against Corporate America. In other words, she’s single and doesn’t have a big mortgage payment, so according to her boss, she’s disloyal and undeserving. As a wild solution to her personal dilemma, Kate concocts a fake fiancé, which is the only situation this “comedy” offers. But her plan works temporarily, and Kate gets a fat promotion and praise from the agency’s newest client, Gulden’s Mustard. (It doesn’t hurt that Kate is responsible for Gulden’s newest slogan – one that might actually sell some mustard, or at least get Gulden’s some publicity). As a result of her plan, Kate also gets Sam into bed. Sam, played with predatory nonchalance by Kevin Bacon, is the evil pencil pusher Kate has her eye on.
To compensate for the thin plot, “Picture Perfect” becomes a fashion showcase for its star. Jennifer can be described as a runway Barbie as she models the latest snakeskin pumps, retro shades, fashionable grungewear, perky 9-to-5 outfits and skimpy cocktail dresses so tight they look shrink-wrapped. Cleavage alert: In the latter examples, the camera literally stares at Jennifer’s breasts, which seem to get bigger and bigger with every look! Jennifer also gives women and drag queens some neat, low-key hairstyle ideas with the long layered look. It’s inspiring to see what can and can’t be achieved with a few barrettes, bobby pins and giant curlers the size of beer cans. Best of all, she can get tips from her character’s marriage-obsessed mother (Olympia Dukakis), who is a funny hairdresser.
Jennifer is appealing in breezy comedies, and here she doesn’t stray from what she does best. Her cheerful, upbeat performance in Picture Perfect is so Rachel-like that she could pop up at Central Perk at any moment to discuss her situation with the gang over a cappuccino. Honestly, that might not be such a bad idea. The film’s idea of a girlfriend (Ileana Douglas, a good comedic supporting actress, completely wasted here) is one who willingly puts Kate in difficult situations, but isn’t available to help her out of them.
What about her supposed fiancé? Well, he turns out to be both victim and hero in this happy ending tale. He’s played with unabashed cuteness by Jay Mohr (he also played the conniving guy who made Jerry Maguire’s life hell). It’s no wonder Kate falls in love with him. He’s irresistible!
This is how you watch Picture Perfect (1997) on Netflix USA!
Picture Perfect is unfortunately not available on American Netflix.