The Perfect Guy parents guide

The Perfect Guy Parent Review

Shuffled between numerous depictions of peril are scenes of scantily dressed women, steamy shower silhouettes and make-out moments. Not for most family viewers.

Overall C-

Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) is torn between two men: Her long-term, commitment-phobic boyfriend (Morris Chestnut), or a handsome, passionate stranger (Michael Ealy). But which of them is the perfect guy for her?

Violence C
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D+
Substance Use C-

The Perfect Guy is rated PG-13 for violence, menace, sexuality and brief strong language.

Movie Review

At thirty-six years old, Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) wants to get married and have a family. Unfortunately her boyfriend Dave King (Morris Chestnut) isn’t ready to make such a commitment, even though they have been dating for two years. With her biological clock ticking too loudly to ignore, the career woman breaks off their relationship in hopes a better opption might come along.

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And a couple of months later, he does! Carter Duncan (Michael Ealy) is just as gentlemanly as he is handsome. Not only is he looking for “the one”, but the two also have great chemistry between them. In fact the attraction is so strong that their second date quickly moves from sensual dancing at a pub to sneaking into a quiet closet to satisfy their aroused desires. (We see lots of cleavage, necking, fondling and undressing, as well as hear sexual sounds.)

Things are moving along so well that Leah hardly even pause to wonder if it’s too good to be true until they stop to buy gas on the way home from meeting her parents. While waiting in his classic muscle car as Carter pays the bill, a stranger leans in through the window to tell Leah how much he admires her ride. Suddenly a jealous or over-protective Carter grabs the man from behind, throws him to the ground and begins hitting and kicking him. Horrified, Leah begs her companion to stop. Yet the beating doesn’t cease until the shop owner threatens Carter with a gun.

The incident is a game changer for the frightened woman, who determines to end their affair. Carter counters by sending apologies through phone calls, texts and flowers. Leah however continues to rebuff his attempts at reconciliation—and that’s when Mr. Right really goes wrong.

In most ways The Perfect Guy is the usual stalker story. Playing on female vulnerability, the plot places Leah in several situations where she is all alone, has her living in a glass home so she is easy to spy on, and shows Carter the secret location of her spare house key. He is physically fit (we see his muscly bare chest on several occasions) and has computer expertise so he’s able to hack her personal devices. He even uses hidden cameras to record video of her in bed with her former beau (Dave is straddling Leah and she is groaning), which he then forwards to all the people on her e-mail address list. Despite reporting these security concerns and invasions of privacy to the police, Detective Hansen (Holt McCallany) tells her there is not enough evidence to arrest Carter. The script does depart from the typical damsel-in-distress tale though when motives of self-defense give way to yearnings for revenge.

Shuffled between numerous depictions of peril and some on-screen murders (with disturbing sound effects and bloody injuries shown) are scenes of scantily dressed women, steamy shower silhouettes and make-out moments. Although these inclusions may be intended to placate any male audience members dragged along as dates, this sexual content as well as a robust helping of profanities and a strong sexual expletive, certainly won’t make this thriller the perfect movie for most family viewers.

Directed by David M. Rosenthal. Starring Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release September 11, 2015. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in The Perfect Guy here.

The Perfect Guy Parents Guide

The vulnerable female victim has long been a staple in thriller movies in which a male protagonist comes to her rescue. How has this formula changed in recent years? Do you think the type of female character depicted in this movie (who is more motivated out of revenge rather than simply ensuring the man meets with justice) is an improvement on the classic victimized female? How might this change be motivated by movie studio marketing departments?

Dave lists a string of close friends and family members who have gone trough divorces as his reason why he can’t commit to Leah. Why might watching failed marriages discourage someone from tying the knot himself or herself? Do you think observing successful relationships would have the opposite effect? Meanwhile, Leah is motivated by her age to settle down and start a family. Why? How can couples like this work through their differences?

Leah’s boss tells her: “Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you want, but you can only spend it once.” What does he mean? How might his advice be helpful to Leah? Does it also have an application for you?

From the Studio:
After a painful breakup, successful lobbyist Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) jumps into a passionate relationship with a charming stranger (Michael Ealy). When her ex-boyfriend (Morris Chestnut) resurfaces in her life she has to figure out who she should trust and who she should fear.
Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment