About college students that experience horrifying visions from the past while undergoing a fraternity initiation.
I hate to say it but there was absolutely nothing perfect about “Perfect Life”. I will take that back. It was the perfect aid I needed to help me fall asleep. Maybe I would even go out on a limb and call it a perfect mess. Or maybe it is just the perfect example of the type of film that I just don’t like. I admit that certain types of films don’t appeal to me. On the rare occasion, one has been known to win me over but not this time. I never went to a big university so my only exposure to the college lifestyle has been through film. When I see these films I get pissed that I may have missed out on something, but they are just movies so maybe I didn’t and things are just exaggerated. “Perfect Life” is a well-acted film with a strong and convincing cast, it just falls in to the category of film that I just don’t like.
Jack (Jesse Bradford) is pledging for the most important fraternity at his college with his childhood pal Freddy (Scot Williams). While Freddy was born into money, Jack was dirt poor. Freddy helped his friend through life and both harbor feelings for Anne (Sienna Guillory). Freddy doesn’t know about Jack and Anne. Jack lives his life in excess, that includes booze, drugs, and random sex. Anne can’t shake her feelings for Jack even though he is completely messed up, while Freddy has loved Anne since the first moment he had seen her. While pledging the fraternity, the boys must partake in several challenges and humiliations. Things escalate and secrets are revealed. The story jumps around in time to show how Jack tends to keep blacking out and forgetting the things he has done. But what exactly is it that he did that was so horrible Jack repressed the memory?
“Perfect Life” isn’t a bad movie. There were a few entertaining moments and the cast is good, especially Bradford. This is just one of those movies that bounces around so much that it made my head hurt. Usually I don’t mind it so much but in this film all the jumping, flashing, and different perspectives did nothing to hold my interest and I couldn’t wait for that final credit roll. The characters are never really fleshed out and frankly, they’re not very likable. Both Jack and Freddy are after Anne but I never understood what it was about her that attracted them both. There are flashbacks to Freddy and Jack’s childhood that kind of plants the seed but it was always more about them than Anne.
When the action shifts to the UK, things get interesting, even a bit bizarre. I just didn’t feel like it all came together. The ending was neat but by that time I was just excited that the film was over. Nothing jumped out at me and I doubt that I will remember much about this film in the morning. From what I read, the film was shot in 2005 and just now receiving a release. I’m not sure what the reason was but I have an idea. The film felt like it was trying to be a cracked out “Less than Zero” and never fully succeeds. Hell, I never really liked “Less than Zero” very much and it paled in comparison to the novel it was based upon.
“Perfect Life” is a perfectly forgettable thriller though I have a feeling that everyone has moved on and will remain unscathed. Not a bad film, just not for me. I’m going to give it ** out of 5 stars. If it weren’t for the fact that the acting was solid, I would have given it much less. “Rules of Attraction” is the only film in recent memory that was similar in tone that I felt was really terrific. Maybe you would be better off watching that again (or if you haven’t, I think you should).
Perfect Life (2010)