Author: Barry Berman
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Writer’s Potential: 3
Logline:An online dating website threatens an engaged couple’s relationship.
Synopsis:A montage cross-cuts to show painter ADLER ADAMS and publishing editor TALLULAH EVERS (both late 20s) heading into work. Tallulah’s boss, HARVEY MACKAYNE (50s, nerdy), gives Tallulah a newspaper article about a dating website, YourPerfectAngel.com. Harvey wants Tallulah to woo the site’s creator, DR. JAMES COPELAND (good-looking, British), while he’s in town to sell the website to Microsoft. Harvey believes Copeland will write an interesting relationship book. Tallulah is skeptical but is forced to go ahead with the project. That night, Adler and Tallulah meet for dinner, during which they reveal that they’re engaged and deep in the planning of their wedding. Tallulah cuts the dinner and planning short to fake a “chance meeting” with Copeland at an art gallery. She admires a painting, catching his attention. Copeland is flirtatious, and Tallulah flirts right back, manufacturing a seemingly romantic connection between the two. She thinks all is lost when Copeland gravitates to a woman with enormous, fake breasts. Meanwhile, Adler meets with a caterer by himself.
The couple meet back at their apartment. Tallulah asks Adler if she’d love him more if she had larger breasts. Adler eases her mind, but it’s short-lived. Tallulah is horrified when he proudly announces the wedding appetizer selection: fish sticks and mini-cheeseburgers. They get into an argument about it, and Tallulah is still mad the next morning when she complains to her best friend, accountant ELEANOR KILECKI. As she rails against Adler’s selfishness and insensitivity, both Harvey and Copeland overhear her. She’s embarrassed, but Copeland claims he’s impressed with her passion. He takes Tallulah to his yacht, where they discuss Copeland’s advanced degrees in psychology and his ironic divorce. Tallulah mentions her engagement and her fight with Adler. Copeland tries to convince her that any couple that fights was not meant to be together. He encourages Tallulah and Adler to fill out profiles on his website and see how they match up.
Back at the office, Tallulah starts filling out a profile. Within minutes, a gaggle of women surround her, each filling out profiles of her own. That night, Adler and Tallulah go to a basketball game with Eleanor and her husband (and Adler’s best friend) DAVE. Tallulah brings up the YourPerfectAngel profile, which Adler thinks is stupid. When they get home, Tallulah shows Adler her profile questionnaire. It’s loaded with information Adler never knew about her. Adler reluctantly agrees to fill out a profile of his own. Back on his yacht, Copeland receives e-mails to let him know that both Tallulah and Adler have filled out profiles. The next morning, Copeland gives Tallulah an outline for his book. He notices two brochures — Japan and Florida. Tallulah tells him she and Adler can’t agree on where to go for their honeymoon. Copeland reminds Tallulah to check out her matches on the website.
When Tallulah logs on to the site, she’s horrified to find Adler is nowhere on her list of matches. Meanwhile, Adler and Dave check out his results. Dave leers at the gorgeous women, while Adler is disappointed that Tallulah is not a match. That night, Adler and Tallulah discuss the matches. Tallulah decides they should each meet their top three matches. Adler thinks this is a horrible idea, but Tallulah insists that it’s necessary, as research. The next day, during lunch, Adler and Tallulah meet their first dates at the same restaurant. The entire time, both Adler and Tallulah obsess over the other couple instead of paying attention to their dates. Afterward, they agree to go on the “dates” separately. Meanwhile, Copeland makes a file containing Tallulah and Adler’s profile questionnaires, along with the profiles of their top results. He studies them, circling private facts about Tallulah and making notes.
The next day, at Tallulah’s gym, Copeland impresses everyone — especially Tallulah — with his prowess on the rock-climbing wall. Eleanor, who’s with Tallulah, decides to sign up for YourPerfectAngel. She wants Dave to join, as well, and gets no argument — he recalls the gorgeous women Adler received as matches. Adler goes on his second date, with banker/gymnast CLAIRE. She accidentally-on-purpose sprays mustard on Adler’s pants, then drags him to her condo so she can wash them. While he’s there, pantsless, she seduces him. After, Adler goes to Dave with a crisis of conscience, wondering what to do. Dave tells Adler to lie. Instead, Adler tells Tallulah the unvarnished truth — and she thinks he’s lying. Tallulah arranges a date with her second candidate, as a gift arrives from Copeland — an $82,000 painting Tallulah admired when they first met. Later, Dave convinces Adler to spy on Tallulah’s second date. From their perspective, it looks like Tallulah’s cozying up to the date. A bus passes, and the couple mysteriously disappear in front of a hotel. In reality, the date is a wreck, Tallulah is trying to console him, and they get on the bus together.
That night, Adler grills Tallulah about the date. When she doesn’t answer satisfactorily, he accuses her of infidelity and admits he and Dave spied on her. Tallulah’s embarrassed and upset. She wants to call the “research” project off, but Adler insists they’ve gone too far to quit now. As Tallulah goes to meet her third date, Copeland pulls up in a limo and takes her to Microsoft. Afterward, he offers to take her skydiving. Meanwhile, Adler arranges a date with his third match, SAMANTHA. They play an ultra-competitive game of basketball. An attraction blossoms. After skydiving, Copeland takes Tallulah back to his yacht, where his chef just happens to have prepared her favorite dishes. Copeland attempts to take his romantic advances to the next level, but Tallulah shies away and leaves. Meanwhile, Adler comes clean to Samantha about the engagement and the weird dating arrangement. Samantha points out that doing things he doesn’t want to for someone else is an act of love.
Back at the apartment, Adler announces that he wants to go to Japan for the honeymoon. Rather than being touched by this act of love, Tallulah picks a fight about how they never agree on anything, and all Adler does is bend to her will. Adler disagrees and storms out of the apartment. Meanwhile, Dave and Eleanor learn that they are each others’ perfect match. The next day, Harvey confesses his undying love to Tallulah. Uncomfortable, she quits. Adler and Tallulah drive to her wedding shower. They break up in the car and announce it to all their friends at the shower. The next day, Tallulah calls Copeland, who invites her to meet regarding business. He tells her he pulled his book from Harvey’s company, and he has a deal with a bigger publisher — who will hire Tallulah. He has a coincidental business trip in Japan he’d like Tallulah to accompany him on, and then they’ll go to New York and work on the book. Adler runs into Samantha on the basketball court. She convinces him to write a letter to Tallulah, pouring out all his emotions. They go back to his paint shop. He tries to work on the letter while Samantha showers. Tallulah has a heart-to-heart with her mom, who convinces Tallulah that Adler is the right choice. She arrives at the shop just in time to see Samantha stepping out of the shower. Adler tries to explain, but Tallulah is crushed.
Adler writes his letter and tries to give it to Eleanor, to give to Tallulah. Eleanor announces that Tallulah has taken a job in New York. Angered, Adler throws the letter in the trash as he leaves the office. Harvey notices this and pulls the letter out of the trash. He calls a friend at a local newspaper. As Tallulah and Copeland prepare to leave, Tallulah discovers Copeland’s “Tallulah” file. Enraged, she leaves him. The next morning, Adler’s letter appears in the paper. People all over the city read it, but most importantly — Tallulah reads it. She returns to Adler, calling herself an idiot and explaining she just got caught up in her own selfish behavior. Adler kisses her. On their honeymoon in Florida, Tallulah works on a book about “becoming” a Perfect Angel.
Comments:YourPerfectAngel is a trite, cliché-ridden romantic comedy. It combines a ridiculous storyline with weak characters and doesn’t even attempt to exploit its premise for any big comic set-pieces or insight into romance. As written, the script merits a pass.
The story is fatally flawed from the start, as it accepts two notions as facts: (1) that online dating sites are the cure-all of relationship problems, and (2) that every single match coming from online dating sites is perfect. The writer makes no effort to sell audiences on the reliability of these websites, so the story doesn’t have a single believable moment as it plows through all the usual beats of a romantic comedy. The flaws are especially evident when the writer attempts to keep the plot going even after it makes no logical sense for Adler or Tallulah to continue with these dates. They go on dates, it makes both of them uneasy, they go on more dates, it starts having serious repercussions on their relationship, so they decide to keep it going for that one last date. Why? Tallulah’s “research” hasn’t uncovered anything except that they don’t want to date other people. Why not stop?
Here’s why not: both Adler and Tallulah are incredibly passive and dim-witted as characters. They don’t do anything that isn’t first suggested by another character, and they’re both easily bent to the will of others. What’s in it for them? What do they want out of their relationship, and are they getting it? What do they hope to get out of this online dating experience, other than Tallulah’s “research”? Questions like these are never even raised, much less answered, which makes empathizing with these characters a frustrating experience. Without understanding what’s going through their minds, none of the interpersonal conflicts make any sense, contributing to script’s overall implausibility.
The script also gets low marks for comedy. The online dating fad is rife with unique potential, but it remains completely untapped. The writer opts for stale gags that would feel at home in any other generic romantic comedy. Some major rewrites are needed to make this script anything but a pass.