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Movie Review: Perfect Combination

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The plain and ugly truth about dating that is undeniably universal is that it is tough. More often than not, finding that special someone is not a matter of how perfect the other person is. It’s all about that moment when two people of the same or opposite sex walk past each other with a chemistry that cannot be matched on an online personals site.

Perfect Combination, produced by Tri-Destined Films, should have been the ordinary waste of time that most black films have become in the last few years. The plot, in which a successful man named Rick goes about searching for love via a dating agency, isn’t necessarily original. Yet the chemistry of this film’s cast upgrades the usual groans this genre has often created into cheers, tears and even surprise.

Christian Keyes (Madea Goes To Jail), Tiffany Hines (Nikita), Kareem J. Grimes (A Good Day To Be Black And Sexy), Ayo Sorrells (Zane’s Sex Chronicles), and Angell Conwell (The Young and The Restless) seem to vibe together on screen. This reminds me of what I appreciated about Christopher Scott Cherot’s Hav Plenty in spite of the fact that the plot was rather simple. Any other cast with this kind of plot, I would have immediately stopped watching.

Tiffany A. Rose, who wrote the screenplay and is an executive producer of the movie, doesn’t spend too much time dealing with the pitfalls of finding love through a dating agency. It’s clear to the audience that the agency’s selections for Rick clearly aren’t right for him. What Ms. Rose does spend time on is the humanity of finding the right one.

Ironically, Rose’s screenplay throws in more than one conclusion for Rick and for his best friends. Hav Plenty, made several years ago, did the same thing. I won’t reveal what those endings are, but when they start to appear in the last thirty minutes of the film, they all seem not only to be logical, but the pairings actually click.

Trey Haley and Tiffany Rose deserve special recognition for giving the audience for this film a steamy scene between two of the leads that actually fools you. Thanks to a series of dissolves, I literally thought what I normally thought would happen in this kind of film and then promptly had to close my mouth after I found out what did happen actually didn’t. It takes a creative mind to have the resistance to simply go the easy route when it comes to making love scenes.

Tiffany Hines and Angell Conwell also deserve kudos for playing female characters that you could envision as women you can talk to without feeling the least bit intimidated. They could have played their characters as too hot to handle, but they recognized through Tiffany Rose’s screenplay that beautiful women are people beneath it all.

In an age where Tyler Perry seems to dominate the idea of the typical black film worth releasing, Perfect Combination is the sign that black film can mature even in the most typical of trappings. There is no over-the-top acting, no attachment to religious beliefs (say for a couple of mentions of god) and most importantly it features black female characters who are not the sirens of the average episode of Maury Povich.

This is the kind of movie the cast of For Colored Girls deserved. This is the kind of film Jennifer Hudson deserved right after she won the Oscar for Dreamgirls. This is the kind of film that will put a smile on your face for all the right reasons. This is the kind of film I as a black man can be proud of.

I hope Tri-Destined Films makes a sequel to this film. I think it’s worth exploring where the characters end up next and I think Tiffany Rose has the chops to expand the story to the another picture. If that never happens, that’s just as well as the world doesn’t need any more sequels than it already has.

Those of you who happen to see it, and wish to give all the positive feedback one can muster, should hit-up Tri-Destined Films at its official website, or follow on Twitter. If word of mouth keeps Rebecca Black high in the music charts, the same thing will help more films like Perfect Combination get more attention.

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About Matthew Milam