For years I have been saying that “L’uomo Perfetto, one of my favorite Italian comedies, should be remade in the US. It has everything Americans love in movies, good-looking characters, a funny screwball comedy plot, and a romantic, happy ending. I watch it when I’m in a bad mood and never get tired of it.
Now I’ve heard that someone in the US is remaking it – in English it will be “The Perfect Man” – and I’m nervous. I wonder what they’ll do to screw it up. You can’t watch L’uomo Perfetto without a region free DVD player, but try to see it before America turns it into an entirely different movie.
I just know that instead of using fresh faced, relatively unknown actors like they did in the Italian one, the American one will surely include Miley Cyrus and a Jonas brother or somebody else we’re all pretty tired of but they’ll consider a box office draw. L’uomo Perfetto had the ensemble perfetto, with two best girlfriends Lucia and Maria played by Francesca Inaudi and Gabriella Pession, Maria’s fiance Paolo, played by Giampaolo Morelli, and the man that Lucia hires to break them up, Antonio, played by Riccardo Scamarcio (who had become pretty famous).
It’s a stupid plot in the way that plots are stupid in many comedies but it’s got a lot that rings true. Maria was that girlfriend in high school that everyone had – the one all the boys liked, and no guy you liked was safe around her. She’s the one that no matter where you went, how great you looked, or how much the guy seemed into you in Algebra class – he’d be making out with her by the end of the night. But Maria and Lucia had been best friends since childhood and really did love each other. They just had the one problem – Maria got engaged to the only man that Lucia ever loved.
Lucia’s solution is ridiculous but funny – and so well executed that you almost think it could work. She hires Antonio, an out of work actor, to become the perfect man – everything that Maria would ever want – and then seduce her. Lucia figures that once Maria sees that Paolo is not her perfect man they’ll break up and she can have him.
I just know that Hollywood will miss the point. They’ll make Lucia an evil bitch instead of the love sick girl in the Italian version that’s just tired of being second best. They’ll make Maria an uncaring, spoiled femme fatale that no one could possibly like, when in fact I loved the Italian Maria – she’s my favorite character in the movie. She is used to getting her way but she’s not one dimensional – she’s adorable. They’ll make Paolo a numbskull frat boy that would sleep with the girls’ mothers if he could get away with it and they’ll make Antonio Justin Bieber. Or something equally ridiculous.
Yes, it is completely implausible but it’s still smart, the dialogue is believable, and the acting is very natural. I liked Maria, Lucia, Antonio, and Paolo. I cared about them and I wanted the best for each of them.
Lucia says – É strano, passi una vita inseguendo un sogno e poi ti accorgi che la tua isola felice era a un passo da te, che bastava allungare una mano per sentire l’onda che sfiora la riva e il tuo cuore che dice: siamo arrivati! Io sono arrivata finalmente, da qui in poi è un’altra storia.
It’s strange, you spend your life following a dream and then you realize that your happy island was a step away, that all you needed was to reach out your hand to feel the wave touching the shore and your heart saying: we’re here! I’m finally here, and from now on it’s another story.