The Perfect Man (2005)
Film from Universal Pictures, directed by Mark Rosman
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."
No score soundtrack available.
CD [image] contains songs only.
clip one, 0'40" (472Kb) [Main theme, taken from DVD menu, minus
irritating 'whooshes'. See ex.1]
Music clip two, 1'29" (1.02Mb) [Beck's slapstick, ca.19'20", when Holly is getting her mum to find the flowers she has bought posing as the perfect man; dialogue gaps are edited out; an increase in texture and shifting up of keys enhances the feeling of growing desperation]
Music clip three, 0'23 " (275Kb) [Love theme, or Adam theme, taken from ca.43'40" as Holly uses Adam's computer. With dialogue. See ex.2]
Music clip four, 2'37" (1.79Mb) [Contemplative version of the main theme, taken from ca.50'15" as Jean opens her heart to Holly-as-the-perfect-man-in-cyberspace. With much dialogue. See ex.1]
Music clip five, 0'34" (400Kb) [Sad version of the main theme at ca.1:03'31" as Holly reflects on how much harm her well-meaning lie is causing. With much dialogue. See ex.1]
Music clip six, 0'20" (236Kb) [Beck's action underscore at ca.1:15'00" in which Holly dashes and arrives breathless in time to stop a wedding. With much dialogue.]
An advert for Hilary Duff's eye liner, sandwiched into a derivative and grossly sanitised plot of a daughter (Holly - Hilary Duff) trying to keep her mother (Jean - Heather Locklear) happy (and from moving the family to another town) by inventing the perfect man (Ben - Chris Noth) as an admirer for her, based on a friend's uncle. Needless to say, her attempts to placate her mother on the issue of never meeting him get out of hand, leading to various 'life lessons', heartaches and minor situational comedy. And please don't forget to laugh at the gay bartender. Because he's gay. And he acts gay. He has a gay voice and gay hair. And that's so original and funny and not at all what sitcoms were doing in the '70s. And that's about the best we can come up with today.
Beck delivers a typically fitting score for this movie, setting love theme, slapstick and whimiscal underscore at a level that just broadens the romance and comedy without sounding like it is trying to dig it out of its blandness. Sadly there are no opportunitities for the music to breath on its own, with pop songs typically hogging the non-verbal limelight, and all other parts of the film drenched in Duff's blogging voiceover. (Even the DVD menu is obliterated by sound effects). There's no mistaking Beck's touch here, but this is one of a growing handful of teen romance scores limited by the identikit and pedestrian nature of the film material. With that said, Beck's battleplan is as well-balanced as ever, somehow finding themes that sound fresh and fitting, which is presumably why he is in such demand for this work.
Ex.1 Main theme (see clips one and four)
Ex.2 Love theme (or Adam theme), normally for clarinet (see
Additional running threads:
Acoustic guitar:- good for accompanying the love theme, for general quiet underscore, and for fast-paced cues (e.g. clips two and five)
Piano:- Not so much a running thread as a typical Beck melodic instrument. A trait that runs back through his television music also.
Webmaster's note: -
Hilary Duff also starred in Cinderella and appeared in Cheaper by the dozen.
Full music credits
Music by Christophe Beck
Executive in charge of music for Universal Pictures - Kathy
Music editor - Will Kaplan
Assistant music editor - Anna Wilbourne
Orchestrations - Kevin Kliesch
Music contractor - Sandy Decrescent
Music programmer - Sean Dougall
Digital recordist - Larry Mah
Music recorded and mixed by Casey Stone
Recording crew - Tim Lauber, Tom Steel, Bill Talbott, Jason Lloyd, Stacy Robinson
Music recorded at Fox Newman Scoring Stage
Music mixed at O'Henry Studios