- Movie Rating -

A Perfect Couple (1979); ★★

| April 6, 1979

I was surprised to find that within four months, between October of 1978 and February of 1979, that Robert Altman had released three films.  An even bigger surprise was that all of three were basically worthless.  The nicest thing that I can say is that, unlike Quintet, at least A Wedding and A Perfect Couple at least felt like Altman films.  That’s really digging for a compliment.

Of the three, I can say that A Perfect Couple is the best, but that’s like saying that the fork was good in a bad restaurant.  Unlike the previous two films, which had no relationships and no admirable qualities, at least A Perfect Couple has a relationship that I found interesting.  Too bad it is frustrated by a dull-as-dishwater leading lady and frequent distracting musical interludes.

The invaluable Paul Dooley, an Altman regular, plays Alex Theodopolous, a dumpy, divorce Greek-American in his mid-40s who uses a computer dating service and meets twenty-something Sheila (Marta Heflin) is a singer who travels with a rock band that functions more like a cult. 

Their first date turns out to be an unmitigated disaster.  First, the computer has set her up with two men who end up in a fist fight, then Alex’s car breaks down and then they get caught in a torrential downpour during an outdoor concert (did he not check the weather?)   

Somewhere in between all the mishaps and shenanigans the two manage to form a common bond that defies their difference in age and cultural background.  The problem is that the movie keeps getting distracted by a lot of nonsense, particularly the intrusion of Alex’s oversize Greek family, plus the weird musical interludes that interrupt the flow of the narrative to show footage of a rock band called Keepin’ Them Off the Streets.  What one has to do with the other is really a mystery and makes the film a really frustrating experience.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy
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