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The Perfect Husband (November 18/98)

The Perfect Husband is an odd little movie. I've looked it up in all my movie-resource books, including Maltin, and none of them have a listing for it. Even the always reliable Internet Movie Database does not contain one review for it. It has a major star (Tim Roth), so I wonder what happened to it during its release.

No matter. It's an entertaining film about a womanizing opera singer in the 19th century, who finds himself falling in love with a woman he cannot have. Naturally, the womanizer is played by Roth. This is the type of role he excels at; the cocky, self-sure boor who is brought down a few pegs before the film ends. He's great in the film, as are the supporting actors.

There's not much plot here, though. The movie basically follows the Roth character through a few days of his life, and that's it. We don't really get a sense of what he's about. We just know that he's a ladies man that is used to playing the field, without ever letting himself become attached to any one woman.

Also, there's no real reason that the film needs to take place in the 1800's. Everything that occurs in the movie could easily happen in the 90's, with one exception. Roth prides himself on having survived 29 duels. These duels would come about when the husbands of the women he would sleep with would find out, and challenge him. Obviously, this could not happen now. Likely, the irate husband would just flat-out shoot him. There would be no sense of gentlemanly conduct, as displayed in the act of the duel.

The Perfect Husband is one of those movies that is instantly forgettable, but you don't notice until it's over.

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