In the wake of the successes of Spike Lee and Robert Townsend came Darryl Roberts, a 27-year-old independent filmmaker from Chicago who made his feature debut with THE PERFECT MODEL. Working with a shoestring budget ($31,000) and a crew on deferred salaries, Roberts produced, directed,
and wrote this film, which he hoped would present a "more realistic portrait of blacks in the cinema." With neither Lee's militance nor Townsend's satire, Roberts offerd a look at a man and woman from very different sides of the tracks. One of them is McKay, a Hollywood actor who returns home to
Chicago to act in a new project. Although he has had a taste of fame and runs with an elite crowd, he has not forgotten his roots in the ghetto. He just chooses to ignore them. His childhood friend is Jackson, a wheeling and dealing beauty pageant promoter who uses his contest as a means to bed
aspiring models, and whose upcoming "Perfect Model" contest McKay has agreed to host. When McKay catches 12-year-old Colbert breaking into his car, he takes an interest in the boy, finding that his parents are dead and he is being raised by his older sister, Cruzat, who struggles to make ends
meet. McKay is smitten with Cruzat, but feels that this "ghetto girl" doesn't fit in with his high-powered friends, though his brother brother (NBA star Reggie Theus), encourages him to follow his heart.
Riddled with technical problems and showing only the most basic understanding of filmmaking skills, this is an imperfect film that manages to be a "perfect model" for those independent filmmakers who must make a feature film at all costs. Judged only on the basis of its maker's intentions and
devotion, THE PERFECT MODEL rates far higher than most slapdash Hollywood product. Unfortunately, just about everything that could be wrong with a film is wrong here. Shooting with a non-union crew and assisted by a number of Chicago film school students, Roberts' film is technically deficient and
features some extremely weak acting as only young Colbert seems completely in control of his character.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1989
- Rating: R
- Review: In the wake of the successes of Spike Lee and Robert Townsend came Darryl Roberts, a 27-year-old independent filmmaker from Chicago who made his feature debut with THE PERFECT MODEL. Working with a shoestring budget ($31,000) and a crew on deferred salarie… (more)