While its title suggests a narrower focus, “The Perfect Match” is largely an ensemble rom-com, and a pretty enjoyable one. Set in a youngish, upscale circle of Los Angeles, the movie sees five old friends negotiating standard life and lifestyle challenges. The scenarios and their attendant psychologies are utterly conventional, but the characters and cast are appealing in equal measure.
Two high school sweethearts, Victor and Ginger (Robert Christopher Riley and Lauren London), are planning a wedding, and Victor can’t quite handle the fact that his future wife is a bigger earner than he. Rick and Pressie (Donald Faison and Dascha Polanco) are trying to have a child, and to say Pressie isn’t enjoying the process would be an understatement.
The fifth member of the close-knit group, Charlie McIntyre, played by an amiable Terrence J., is a carefree, commitment-phobic talent agent who’s an enthusiastic shutterbug on the side. This playboy is, of course, ripe to fall into a classic hunter-captured-by-the-game scenario. The preternaturally ravishing Cassie Ventura plays Eva, a mysterious woman with a Maxim-photo-shoot wardrobe who turns Charlie’s head around in ways that he, of course, had never expected.
The movie’s dialogue — the screenplay is by Brandon Broussard, Gary Hardwick and Dana Verde — is unusually snappy and knowing: “My sperm count’s higher than Robert Downey Jr.’s net worth,” an ebullient Rick bellows at one point. The direction by Bille Woodruff, while choppy and stylistically undistinguished, does keep the picture moving, and support and cameo performances from the likes of Paula Patton, Robin Givens, Brandy Norwood and the rapper French Montana (who carries a peculiarly Timothy Carey-esque vibe) are more than reasonably diverting.
Finally, the movie sticks to its philosophical guns, such as they are, in a way that’s almost unheard-of in contemporary romantic comedies. Connoisseurs of the genre may be highly surprised at the film’s penultimate scene.
“The Perfect Match” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Salty language and a couple of non-explicit but almost excessively evocative sex scenes. Running time: 1 hour 36 minutes.