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"PICTURE PERFECT"
(1997) (Jennifer Aniston, Jay Mohr) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Minor Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Mild Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic Comedy: A woman fakes an engagement with a stranger in order to meet standards set by her pro-family boss.
PLOT:
Kate (JENNIFER ANISTON) works for an advertising firm where her boss, Mr. Mercer (KEVIN DUNN), questions her single lifestyle as does her hairdresser mother, Rita (OLYMPIA DUKAKIS), both of whom think she should be married. Never able to develop a successful relationship, Kate nonetheless is attracted to the office Romeo, Sam (KEVIN BACON), who isn't interested in her because she's not "bad" enough for him. Things change, however, when her friend and co-worker, Darcy (ILLEANA DOUGLAS), makes up a story about Kate's fictitious, long-distance engagement to Nick (JAY MOHR), a videographer she briefly met at a wedding. This works well for her in Mr. Mercer's eyes and with Sam who then finds her irresistibly unavailable, and the two then hop in the sack together. But when Nick saves a young girl's life and suddenly becomes a local hero, everyone wants to meet this mystery man. Kate then hires him to show up a work-related dinner with a plan that they'll have a big fight and break up, thus solving her dilemma. Her plan is picture perfect until Nick falls for her, and from that point on, she must deal with the lie, and her relationships with Sam and Nick.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Aniston (from TV's "Friends") or perhaps are fans of the trivia game, "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sensuality and related dialogue.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JENNIFER ANISTON plays a woman who's forced to go along with a lie to further her career and treats Nick poorly in the process. She also sleeps with Sam several times and spouts most of the film's profanity (in one scene).
  • KEVIN BACON plays the office Romeo with a reputation for sleeping with women who should be unavailable to him (ie. Those who are married or otherwise spoken for)
  • JAY MOHR plays the accomplice in Kate's plan, but only to get to know her. Other than that, he's a good role model.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    A romantic comedy that isn't much of a comedy and isn't executed as well as it could have been, "Picture Perfect" is nonetheless an enjoyable diversion. This is mainly because of the attractive and personable cast. Of the performers from the TV show "Friends" who've tried to cross over to the big screen, only Courtney Cox and Aniston seem capable of making a success in the movies. With the looks and on screen charisma of a true Hollywood star, Aniston seems destined for feature success, but it's questionable whether this movie will be her big stepping stone there. While it does have the traditional romantic comedy plot where people act differently than normal to attract their romantic interest, this movie doesn't have enough comedy or fun plot twists that are usually present in such films. Feeling more like an elongated sitcom where a lie gets out of control, we see the usual elements that here come across as predictable, but still, fans of this genre will be adequately pleased by them. So will fans of the trivia game, "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" who like to link any actor or actress to Bacon in six movies or less. Bacon's role isn't very big, but he does an okay job as the office swinger/womanizer. More successful as individuals are Aniston and Mohr, but when they're together they feel restrained by the lackluster plot. There's not the usual amount of friction between these two that is normally found in such movies and lends to most of the usual humor that finally evolves into love. Less restrained, but also less successful in her role is Olympia Dukakis. Resigned to playing the over protective, overbearing mother, she's a one note character who's more irritating than humorous. While the film has its occasional funny moments, they are too brief and few and far between. Had the film makers introduced more comedic moments and played more off the lie outrageously getting out of control, the film would have been much better than it is. It isn't horrible by any means, and its cast saves it from mediocrity, but the film could and should have been much better. We give it a 5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Implied sexual activity, some sexual dialogue, and moderate profanity are the worst bits of objectionable material in this film. While no true nudity or sexual activity is seen, there are several encounters between Aniston and Bacon, along with some mild dialogue. Aniston spouts most of the worst profanity in one scene, but beyond her tirade of "s" words, the rest are rather modest. There's some drinking, less smoking, and some bits of bad attitude. Of course there's the general lie that Kate goes along with, but there's also her poor treatment of Nick, and Sam sleeps with her only because he thinks she's unavailable. Since some kids will want to see this film (mainly teenage girls and some boys who want to gaze at Aniston), we suggest that you examine the content to determine how appropriate the film is for them.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Kate and Darcy drink wine.
  • Kate and others drink wine at a reception.
  • People drink in a bar as do Sam and Kate (martinis) and Sam is somewhat drunk.
  • Mr. Mercer, Kate, Nick and others have wine and after dinner drinks at a business dinner.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Darcy makes up a lie to help Kate, who goes along with it to further her career She then treats Nick poorly during this lie although he's helping her and has fallen in love with her.
  • Sam fakes his business expense report.
  • Sam sleeps with Kate only because he thinks she's engaged and that makes her a "bad girl." After their first encounter, he tells her not to tell Nick (her fictitious fiancÚ) and to keep it all secret.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Screwed up," "Shut up," and "Sucks."
  • Darcy makes up a lie and Kate is forced to go along with it (without telling the truth until the end).
  • Kate and Sam have casual sex several times.
  • A woman throws a glass of water into Nick's face (after she thinks he's been cheating on Kate).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • We hear the line "Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight." from a song by 70's group, "K.C. and the Sunshine Band."
  • PROFANITY
  • 9 "s" words (at least, many are said in a brief tirade), 5 damns, 3 hells, 2 asses, 1 crap, and 6 uses of "God," 5 of "Oh God," 2 each of "G-damn," and "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Kate wears many tight, cleavage revealing outfits, some of which also show her exposed bra. In one scene she sunbathes in her bra as does Darcy.
  • There are sounds of a mild sexual encounter and we then see a man lying on top of Kate, between her legs, and they're making out on a sofa. She finally stops this and asks him to leave, and he makes several comments about reluctantly wearing a condom, but that "it's not as good."
  • Kate and Darcy see a billboard for men's underwear showing a model wearing skimpy jockeys. Kate states that she wants that, and Darcy says she does as well, but Kate then mentions that she's talking about having her ads on a billboard, not the actual model himself.
  • After Kate enters the ladies room and lets out a tirade of "s" words, a woman is seen leaving a stall and there may be very brief nudity (side of butt) as she pulls up her underwear/pantyhose while rushing out of the bathroom.
  • An advertising executive talks about an ad showing a bowl of mustard in front of a nude woman blocking the view of her private parts. He then mentions that the logo would be "Spread this."
  • Kate and Sam are in bed together and she mentions that she doesn't know if "it's the beer, wine, or me" about being in bed with him. While no nudity or movement is seen, there is some kissing and it's implied that they sleep together as they're seen together the next morning. Sam also mentions that he now thinks that she's a "bad girl" since she's sleeping around although she's reportedly engaged.
  • Kate tells Rita (her mother) about her encounter with Sam. "We had sex, momma. You know, the really dirty kind."
  • After Sam tells Kate that he's mounting his (sexual) offensive toward her, she replies that nobody's going to be mounting anybody.
  • Sam picks up Kate, she wraps her legs around his waist and they fall onto her bed. Although he kisses her feet and it's implied that they sleep together again, no nudity or movement is seen (although her bare back suggests that they're nude under the covers).
  • In a staged fight, Nick mentions that he and Kate are involved with a surrogate mother because "a man's got to do what a man's got to do." He then admits to having a mistress in their relationship (again, all made up) and then states that she has a mistress too. A woman at the dinner then asks if Kate's gay, but Nick mentions that the mistress is Kate's job.
  • Answering Rita's unheard question about what contraceptives she has, Kate replies, "A diaphragm, a sponge, a rubber."
  • SMOKING
  • Darcy smokes in several scenes.
  • An ad executive holds an unlit cigar and in another scene a man smokes outside a wedding.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • There's some brief arguing between Kate and her over protective mother, but none of it's too bad.
  • Kate briefly talks about her father leaving home when she was seven and then dying when she was seventeen.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Lies and letting them get out of control instead of telling the truth.
  • Casual sex.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Kate is accidentally hit in the eye as she tries to leave Sam's home, and she later has a black eye.



  • Reviewed July 28, 1997

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