A Perfect Ending
Watching "A Perfect Ending" was a lot like listening to my thirteen-year-old tell a story. "So when we got there, there was this guy and he was like tall, you know and then there was this other guy and... wait, first I have to tell you about this other part, before that. So there was this girl and like, kind of, I don’t know, and this thing happened to her and then... oh, hey, did you see how cute my shoes look with this?"
In other words, it was all over the place and, in the end, it was hard to figure out if the sum of the parts amounted to anything other than each of the parts on their own. I’m afraid the answer is probably not.
(Spoiler alert. Though it doesn’t matter much...)
The story seems to be that a rich married woman, Rebecca, is bored with her husband and so, of course, this lesbian couple (friends, family, I don’t know because the filmmaker never tells us) recommends that she hire a female prostitute. She has never shown any interest in women. But hey, women have a better handle on the operating system, so, why not?
Meanwhile, there are these cutaways to a dark-haired woman sitting on a white floor with a white background with a vase of flowers and stacks of presents around her. Why? No idea. To add to the confusion, the film also cuts away to these "arty" close-ups of this and that for what seems to be no reason. Even by the end of the film no reason appears.
Someone in the film is also dying of cancer but we don’t know who because we only see the doctor when he is speaking to whoever the patient is. So, there’s that. And Rebecca does seek out a prostitute, call girl, as you like. But a young woman is sent instead of a woman her own age as Rebecca requested because the two working girls switched schedules. Rebecca acts appalled and sends her away.
Because of the switcheroo, when Rebecca calls and asks for the same girl, the older woman is sent and Rebecca casts her aside instantly.
This happens time and again before Paris (yes, the call girl’s name is Paris and we are never told her "real" name if there is one to be told) basically calls Rebecca’s bluff and kisses her. Sex ensues. Too much back-rubbing and hair playing, of course. And, lo and behold, they fall in love.
There is one saving grace here, Jessica Clark who plays Paris is gorgeous and not too bad of an actress.
Rebecca starts acting weird at home, telling the kids she hasn’t made dinner, gasp, instead they should... order pizza. Her son’s fiancé (did I mention there’s a wedding approaching too?) refuses to eat processed foods. Translation, she’s a difficult bitch. And she mispronounces focaccia. Confused yet?
Somehow we come to believe that it is the husband is the one dying of cancer and it’s hard not to feel badly for the guy even though minutes before you may have been rooting for Rebecca to leave him for her young, lesbian love.
By the way, did I mention that Rebecca’s daughter is from her first marriage and that her now husband raped said daughter? Apropos of nothing that information is revealed. Not in a straight-forward way, of course, but through hints and then flashbacks and then it’s never mentioned or referred to again.
Then there’s all of the money stuff going on behind the scenes. Rebecca’s husband, Mason, won’t give Rebecca’s daughter any share in the company although he wills it to the two sons they have together. But Mason has to give the majority of shares of the one company to Rebecca in order to not destroy another of his business interests.
In the end, it’s Rebecca who has cancer and dies and so is able to will the stocks to all three children equally. Oh, and Paris accidentally pushed her husband in front of a car and he was killed.
That’s supposed to be the explanation for all of the white room cutaways where we eventually see Paris throw the vase, cut her hand on the glass, and paint in blood. She’s an artist. We know this because scenes of her drawing are interspersed throughout.
And Morgan Fairchild plays the madam. She is the most talented of the bunch acting-wise, which should say it all.
Suffering from a little whiplash? Me too. And I saw the film. The thing is, I think there’s a movie in there. In fact, I think there are several movies in there and that - along with some very cheeseball acting and faux art house cinematography - is what makes this film nearly impossible to watch.
There are some sexy scenes between Rebecca and Paris. But they are few and far between and take forever to get to in the first place. And the love story is hard to buy. The call girl with the heart of gold who awakens the lesbian in us all? It seems to be setting humanity back in too many ways to count.
With some rewriting, reediting, recasting, and reshooting, this film might have a chance. But then, this film wouldn’t be this film. Forgive me, but I’m afraid there is simply no perfect ending to be found here.
This article is part of our "Out On Film Atlanta - 2012" series. Want to read more?
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