Play Pause

Friday, 2 September 2016

Retro Review: Perfect (1985)

Cast: John Travolta, Jamie Lee Curtis 
Genre: Drama 
U.S Lifetime gross: $12, 918, 858

Plot: A Rolling Stone reporter (John Travolta) seduces an aerobics instructor (Jamie Lee Curtis) whilst doing a story on health clubs for singles

'Perfect Works Up A Sweat, Despite Its 80s Cheese Factor'

One must go back in time in the 1970s (unless you were born in the 1980s like myself) when John Travolta was reigning supreme with Grease and Saturday Night Fever, to the period of flare trousers, disco suits and balls. & yet a decade later with Perfect, this is arguably the most unlikely performance and onscreen portrayal by Travolta in a movie that was very much panned by critics when it was released in 1985. 

Perfect was released during the fitness boom period as highlighted by Olivia Newton John's hit song, Physical and the whole 'no pain, no gain' moniker. 

John Travolta is a roving reporter, Adam for Rolling Stone magazine who is pursuing his story on the craze of health and fitness clubs and people's relationships that develop within them. As he does so, he comes across workout instructor, Jessie (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), who at first isn't smitten by Adam's charms, but suddenly changes her mind when his intentions go far beyond him trying to use some corny chat-up line to gain her attention. The title of the movie implies the idea of perfection, of Jessie who works out a lot to maintain her figure, she likes to be perfect. & in everything she does, because she is in many respects a perfectionist. 

In watching this movie, I didn't see much wrong with it, but for the fact, the story lacked a central focus and the film needed to bring out more out of Travolta's and Lee Curtis's characters. I really don't understand why it was shat on and loathed so much by critics; Travolta's performance as Adam is charismatic and to be honest, I haven't seen him give such a thorough effort as this in a dramatic movie and the acting performances all-round is quite impressive, and the dialogue was good. Both Adam and Jessie appear to be like-minded and likeable characters, with Travolta and Lee Curtis having a good rapport with each other. 

You need to suspend all disbelief and put aside some of the corniness of it when you watch this movie, and good thing this was R-rated, I mean, all those pelvic thrusts are not something that is deemed for family viewing! Perfect is as '80s as you can possibly get: the colourful leotards and spandex, some of the cringing aerobics moves, the upbeat, high -energy soundtrack. 

And yes a lot of people would label this film as dated and the 80s' vibe as a bad thing - but that was what the 1980s was all about. The aerobics scenes are amusing and fun to watch, and corny and are well shot. Anyone who has taken an aerobics class or even watched an aerobics scene in Flashdance or from a TV show should know how it makes so much difference to have some uptempo, killer music that you can dance to. 

But there is also an underlining story-line about journalism ethics and it is at times entertaining in places. I have to say this wasn't what I'd expected this movie to be, and that whatever real doubts I might have had before seeing it, were virtually cast aside. 

Perfect is a fun and cheesy way to put your brain on hold for 2 hours, even though it could have been trimmed off - it is a light-hearted romp within this drama with a fist-pumping soundtrack, backed up by the Pointer Sisters, Dan Hartman and Whitney Houston.

Final Verdict:

Perfect's negative reputation is good in an interesting way: it's campy and cheese factor works well in this film. Again, it is one of those bad and corny - yet somewhat watchable '80s movies. Is it 'perfect'? No. Is this John Travolta's and Jamie Lee Curtis's absolute finest cinematic moment of theirs? No. But they put on satisfactory performances as their respective characters. 

& I'd say this film has some credibility that prevents it from becoming too corny & horrible and it's interesting to see both the pros and cons of being a journalist.

It's a film you need to see once and you can decide whether it is to your liking, or not.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...