Perfect Marriage, The (DVD)

The Perfect Marriage DVD (click for larger image)Starring Jamie Luner, William R. Moses, James Wilder

Directed by Douglas Jackson

Distributed by Lionsgate

Douglas Jackson, whose last project was the cleverly disguised stinker The Rival, has returned with another horror entry that sports some gritty DVD cover art that isn’t fooling anyone this time. If The Rival (review here) was any indication of what his made-for-TV style films have to offer, then we are all doomed. Someone save us from the Lifetime Channel Horror!!!

Seductive con-man Brent has lured the lovely Annie into his web of death and sex. With little effort Brent is able to convince her to kill her older, drunk husband so they can split the estate’s money. The quarter of a million dollar inheritance doesn’t last long as Brent squanders it and cheats on Annie. Their relationship is over, for now.

The Perfect Marriage DVD (click for larger image)Fast forward a few years, and we see Annie has remarried a wealthy real estate heir. She has found new happiness and a lifestyle beyond her dreams. That is until Brent returns to bait her into the murder game again. Will she resist or lose everything just for the money?

The Perfect Marriage is damn near the same movie as The Rival. Hell, an actor from that film (Sophie Gendron) returns to play almost the exact same role. If someone were to take the script from The Rival and replace the word “baby” with the word “money,” the reader would probably never know the difference between the two plots. Need a rundown of the similarities found in these tame TV movies?

– The lead actress starts in a normal state of mind but quickly goes totally nuts for almost no reason
– Said character lacks the most basic moral compass
– A less important character is killed off when he/she discovers the main character’s evil secret
– The husband of the lead character is oblivious to the whole situation
– There is a gore-less body count of at least 3 people who have shared screen time totaling 3 minutes
– The police are either absent or clueless throughout the entire film (fingerprints, witnesses and alibis mean nothing!)
– A final showdown between the female lead and another semi-good looking woman ends in a ridiculous death

The Perfect Marriage DVD (click for larger image)The Perfect Marriage is a real bitch to sit through. The reason isn’t the budget, lackluster cast or even the acting; its the damn predictability. Every twist and turn comes yelling and screaming down the road. Pretty damn hard to stay on the edge of your seat when one can guess the victims based on their first on-screen appearance. Unattractive woman who snoops around too much? Dead. Evil lover with no redeeming qualities? Toast. Kindly old man with crock-shit loads of dough? Fell and couldn’t get up. Exactly who are these child-safe films made for? Are there that many audiences out there howling for such bland escapades? Is there a bet at some studio to see who can make the most movies using the same plot?

This brings on the question: How many times can this exact same formula be used? A quick look at Jackson’s IMDB listing shows that he has plenty more TV movies on the way. This is great if you like Sophie Gendron because she is in all of them. Sadly, she will probably play the same background character again and again. Maybe there’s only so much the camera can take of those Tomb Raider lips. They are huge and somehow manage to be less than sexy. Doug Jackson should just turn his efforts from Lifetime Horror for Housewives and dedicate some time to a string of Angelina Jolie like knock-off films. With the proper amount of nudity, explosions and deceiving DVD covers … Fuck it. Just give up, Dougie.

The Perfect Marriage is anything but perfect. The tiresome story and nameless cast fail to conjure up even the briefest enjoyable moments. Maybe the next cut-and-paste adventure will be better, but don’t hold your breath.

Special Features
The thought that Douglas Jackson may, someday, stop making these movies.

1/2 out of 5

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Mike Phalin

Mike Phalin is a contributing writer, reality television star and engineer.