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Picture Perfect (1997 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Glenn Gordon Caron|
|Produced by||Erwin Stoff
|Written by||Arleen Sorkin
Glenn Gordon Caron
|Music by||Carter Burwell|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$44.3 million|
Picture Perfect is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by Glenn Gordon Caron, written by Arleen Sorkin, and starring Jennifer Aniston, Jay Mohr, Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas, Olympia Dukakis, and Anne Twomey. The film centers around a young advertising executive's life which becomes increasingly complicated when, in order to impress her boss, she pretends to be engaged to a man she just met. Picture Pefect was released on August 1, 1997, by 20th Century Fox. It garnered mixed reviews from critics and was a box office hit, grossing $44.3 million against a $19 million budget.
Kate is struggling in the advertising business in New York City: she cannot move forward despite her talent. Her boss, Mr. Mercer, passes her up for a promotion because she is "not stable enough". Her co-worker, Darcy, invents a story claiming Kate is engaged to Nick, a freelance videographer who lives in Massachusetts, with whom Kate had her picture taken during a friend's wedding.
All seems to work out well for Kate and she gets her promotion. After Nick saves a little girl from a fire and winds up in the news, Kate is forced to bring her alleged fiancé to dinner with Mercer and his wife. She asks Nick to "break up" with her. Nick, who already likes Kate, complies to please Kate. Meanwhile, Sam, a colleague that Kate had always wanted, takes notice of her. They have sex twice.
As Kate and Nick get to know each other, she starts to like him. The night of the dinner arrives and Kate and Nick are prepared for their "big fight". But, Nick tries to suppress the "fight" by complimenting her and expressing the desire for a future with Kate. However, Kate just wants the "fight" to happen. After unsuccessfully trying to drive Nick into a fight at the dinner table, she pays a restaurant employee to call her number and tries to make it seem like Nick is having an affair with an ex-girlfriend. At first Nick is a bit lost but figures it out and finally plays along.
After a week, feeling guilty, Kate admits to Mercer (and several co-workers) her cover-up, stating that she was dressing for the job she wanted, repeating a line that Mercer had used on her earlier regarding her instability. When she tells him she is quitting, Mercer counters by admitting to her how he exaggerated his own past at one point in his life. While he lets Kate keep her job as an ad exec, he also suggests she take a few days off to go to Massachusetts and patch things up with Nick.
Kate walks in while Nick is recording a wedding and he rebuffs her attempts to patch things up until she humiliates herself in front of the soon-to-be-married couple, as Nick did in front of her boss earlier. Satisfied that the playing field has been leveled, he makes up with Kate and invites her to the wedding reception as his guest.
- Jennifer Aniston as Kate Mosley
- Jay Mohr as Nick
- Kevin Bacon as Sam Mayfair
- Olympia Dukakis as Rita Mosley
- Illeana Douglas as Darcy O'Neil
- Matthew Sussman as Darcy's Husband
- Kevin Dunn as Mr. Mercer
- Faith Prince as Mrs. Mercer
- Anne Twomey as Sela
- John Rothman as Jim Davenport
- Meg Gibson as Mrs. Davenport
- Paul Cassell as Brad
- Marcia DeBonis as Rosie
- Amelia Campbell as Susan
- Faran Tahir as Sajit
- Ivar Brogger, Peter McRobbie and Jenna Stern as The Ad Executives
- Bellina Logan as Agency Receptionist
- Sean Patrick Thomas as Agency Researcher
- Andrea Bendewald as Pregnant Friend
- David Cromwell as Minister
- Jessica Cushman as Bride
- Kaley Cuoco as Little Girl
- Greg Grunberg as Date (uncredited)
The movie was shot in June and July 1996.
Picture Perfect received mixed reviews from critics, as it holds a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews. Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score from 1 to 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gave the film a 44 based on 16 critics.
Roger Ebert found the film at odds with itself, noting how the script has poor storytelling elements but contains "nice dialogue touches" delivered by the characters, saying that "it's a shame the plot is so contrived, because parts of this [movie] are really pretty good." Janet Maslin of The New York Times called it a "light, undemanding comedy", commending its use of sitcom humor, bits of satire and the performances of Aniston, Douglas and Bacon, concluding that it "bounces busily among these players until it has to slow down and pretend to be sincere." Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle heavily criticized the film for having the aesthetics of "an over-long, over-nice, made-for-TV movie that goes nowhere quick." He gave notice to Aniston's performance lacking sustainability to capture the big screen, and bringing the rest of the main cast to her acting level.
The film opened at number 5 at the North American box office making $7.8 million in its opening weekend. It eventually earned over $44 million worldwide, making it a moderate success commercially by beating out its $19 million budget.
- "Picture Perfect". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Ebert, Roger (August 1, 1997). "Picture Perfect Movie Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago, Illinois: Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved February 24, 2017 – via rogerebert.com.
- Maslin, Janet (August 1, 1997). "An Adorable Wardrobe Accessorized by Deceit". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
- Savlov, Marc (August 1, 1997). "Pitch Perfect". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
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