Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
Robert Altman's "A Perfect Couple" seems to rejoice in its incompatibilities. There is, first of all, the glorious incompatibility of the couple themselves: A sometime rock singer and a middle-aged Greek-American businessman who meet through a videotape computer dating service. Then there's the film's basic structural incompatibility, as Altman alternates between the fortunes of love and the fortunes of a rock group.
The movie looks like several good ideas for several movies, made all at once and regardless of whether the pieces fit easily together. That's too bad, because the movie's got so many interesting things in it, so many original characters and, yes, so much interesting music that it shouldn't have been allowed to become such a stylistic confusion. Just one or two, of the stories would have done, and maybe half as much basic material, treated with more detail.
The movie's mostly about the perfect couple of the title, a matching of Second City veteran Paul Dooley and Broadway actress Marta Heflin. He's part of a genuinely bizarre family presided over by a ruthless Greek father who requires compulsory attendance at such family rituals as concerts and dinners. She plays a somewhat forlorn member of a music group, "Keepin' em Off the Streets," which is part rock band, part extended communal family.
They spend their first date at an outdoor concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic -- a date spoiled by a sudden rainstorm, which develops into an extended comic scene. This first meeting is so promising, and it's developed by such unexpected and bizarre revelations about the lives of the couple that we begin to expect an original comic achievement.