Reviewed by Ned Daigle
Rating: 7.5 Beans
hen adapting material for the screen, there are a few good sources to looks to. Novels are a good bet. Plays are also decent choices. But articles about health clubs in Rolling Stone magazine? Is that turkey I smell? Well, someone thought this was a good idea and did just that. The result: One of the biggest box office bombs of 1985.
"Perfect" tells the story of hot-shot Rolling Stone writer Adam Lawrence, played by John Travolta, who decides that his new article should be about health clubs and how they are the singles bars of the 80's. He hits upon a popular L.A. club called The Sports Connection that he lovingly dubs "The Sports Erection", there he meets a few of the patrons. First we have Sally, played by Marilu Henner, who is a bubbly dimbulb who does any exercise that makes her breasts look bigger; Linda, "Saturday Night Live's" Laraine Newman, whom other patrons affectionately call "the most used piece of equipment in the gym"; and finally Jessie, a very jiggly Jamie Lee Curtis, an aerobics instructor.
Travolta immediately gets the hots for Curtis and wants desperately to interview her, because she continuously declines, being burned by a journalist before who exposed her relationship with her swimming coach when she was training for the Olympics, makes him want her all the more.
After he scores in bed with Curtis, he also scores the interview. Curtis reveals her sad story, but when she notices he's tape recording her, she throws him out of her car and says "You're a sphincter muscle!" She uses this insult several times before the movie ends.
Travolta decides to scrap the article but the Rolling Stone editor, played by real-life Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner (he shouldn't quit his day job), goes over his head and destroys everyone's reputation in the process. Oh pooh, I guess everyone will know what vain people they really are!
Travolta apologizes, Curtis eventually forgives, and everyone gets together for a grand finale aerobic workout!
"Perfect" is very bad in every department. Travolta pretty much destroyed his career, being resigned to the "Look Who's Talking" movies and straight-to-video cheapies until his rescue by Quentin Tarantino, with this lame performance. There is a lengthy workout sequence where Travolta shows his moves with a very stuffed looking pair of shorts that never misses a chance to be thrust into the camera. Curtis is flat and one-dimensional. Only Newman has a character that has any depth or delivers a good performance, sadly it was trapped in this dud. And did anyone really think that audiences were that interested in the goings-on in health clubs anyway?
If all of that weren't bad enough, the final workout sequence has the entire cast individually grinning and mugging for the camera as their credits are superimposed over their bods.
"Perfect" is smug self-indulgence of the highest order. You'll reach for the VCR stop button faster than you can say "sphincter muscle."
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