"The Perfect Man"

Movie Production Information Page 3

At first, Holly is certain that the bread-baking Lenny is a speedy write-off for Jean. But when he ratchets up his pursuit by crawling on the windowsill, singing an old Styx song and asking her to marry him, Holly, too, must increase her efforts and “up” Ben’s presence to keep Jean off-balance, distracting her from succumbing to Lenny’s persistence, his attentiveness and his questionable charms.

So Holly turns to her artistic guy pal, Adam Forrest (played by Living With Fran’s Ben Feldman), who gets increasingly drawn into the ruse when Holly calls upon him to impersonate Ben through instant messaging and then on the phone.

Mimicking their characters’ relationship, Hilary and Vanessa Lengies quickly bonded and became offscreen friends as well.

Says Hilary, “I just love talking with her and goofing off with her. She’s the real deal—a really good person, a nice person. And I know our friendship will last well beyond filming.” Director Rosman became a fan of Lengies from her work in the popular series American Dreams, and he was very pleased that The Perfect Man provided the opportunity to work with the young actress. He supplies, “Vanessa is instantly likeable, and the fact that she and Hilary became such good friends has certainly added to their onscreen chemistry.”

Though many of the life lessons in The Perfect Man come for the eldest Hamilton, Jean, one key opportunity for growth presents itself to Holly. While the teenager becomes increasingly busy with maintaining the relationship between her mom and her mom’s not-so-secret admirer, she at first fails to notice when an admirer appears in her own life—her co-conspirator, Adam. Once Adam’s feelings are known, Holly is hesitant to reciprocate and is afraid to risk feeling for someone...especially given her family’s history with frequent relocation. Why invest in a situation you know has no chance of lasting?

Filmmakers were taken with Feldman’s talents and thought of his character, Adam, in some ways as the perfect man (well, teenage guy) for Holly. Platt explains,

“Adam is a charming, artistic kind of kid. He’s funny and self-deprecating. And he’s amused by Holly’s antics and her seemingly outward desire not to get too involved. Adam has a way of piercing that, and getting straight to her heart. Their story, in some ways, mirrors Jean’s. Do you run when things turn out to be not so perfect, or do you stay, invest, and try and work it out? It becomes not only Jean who learns a big life lesson, but Holly as well.” “Ben comes from a theatrical background,” adds Rosman, “and he has a tempo and style that contrast nicely to Hilary. They play well off each other and their relationship as Holly and Adam is very sweet. How could you not root for Adam as he starts to fall in love with her?”

Their acting rapport and on-set friendship helped the two young actors when it came time to shoot a pivotal scene in the budding Holly/Adam relationship...the “big, giant kiss scene,” as Feldman refers to it. He continues, “Working with Hilary was great. It sounds like I’m supposed to say this stuff, but it’s true—she’s a lot of fun, nice and sweet, and really easy to get along with. Oh, and did I mention she’s cute? When it came time to film the scene, it really helped that we had a friendship and a rapport, because otherwise it’s just really awkward. I mean, filming a scene like that is not as glamorous as it looks when you’ve got like, 80 million people watching you!” (Duff’s real-life mother also helped Feldman on-set by “yelling at me and making faces every time I kissed her daughter. It was all a big laugh.”)

Other cast members added plenty of laughs during the eight weeks of principal photography, both in and out of character. Comedienne and actress Caroline Rhea plays opposite Locklear as her somewhat envious and ever buoyant deli bakery co-worker, Gloria. Television personality, style guru and member of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s fashionista team, Carson Kressley, appears as Lance, the quick-witted bartender at Ben’s local and very real restaurant. And Kym Whitley adds a wry touch as Jean’s employer and friend, Dolores.

While The Perfect Man is brimming with budding, hopeful romance, the project’s cast differed in their opinions of what they considered to be the qualities that makes a romantic prospect “perfect.” Hilary claims she can’t really define what she thinks makes “the perfect man,” but it’s important that he be someone who “makes me laugh a lot, who’s fun, but can also be serious. And since I’m from Texas, I was raised to think that manners and respect are really important as well.” As for Locklear, she argues that while she has found a good man (husband rock guitarist Richie Sambora), they are indeed hard to find...so a perfect man probably doesn’t exist.

“Besides, who would want one?,” adds the actress with a grin. Feldman swears if he knew what qualities make up the perfect man, he’d “spend every day trying to be that.” He thinks it’s important to be “funny and sensitive and caring. But, really, everyone has their own perfect person...it’s different for everyone, and I think that’s what this movie is about.”

Almost in keeping with his character, Noth offers a thoughtful, different perspective: “We’re all looking for perfection, even if we deny that it exists. We all need the illusion that everything is going to end happily ever after. But I would have to say that most probably, there is no such thing as the perfect man.”

“What’s great about romance,” closes Marc Platt, “is that it’s different for each person. But, for whatever reason, the match is combustible and magical and charming. And if it were that easy, I don’t think there’d be so many wonderful stories and films about trying to find that perfect match...and then falling in love, whether there’s perfection there or not.” Universal Pictures Presents A Marc Platt Production of A Mark Rosman Film: Hilary Duff, Heather Locklear in The Perfect Man, starring Chris Noth and Mike O’Malley.

The music is by Christophe Beck; the costume designer is Marie Sylvie Deveau. The editor is Cara Silverman, ACE. The production designer is Jasna Stefanovich. The director of photography is John R. Leonetti, ASC. The executive producers are Billy Higgins and Adam Siegel. The Perfect Man is produced by Marc Platt, Dawn Wolfrom and Susan Duff. The story is by Michael McQuown & Heather Robinson & Katherine Torpey; the screenplay is by Gina Wendkos. It is directed by Mark Rosman. ©2005 Universal Studios.

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2005 Entertainment Magazine / EMOL.org