Till Death Do You Part
There is a scene in "The Perfect Marriage" where the assistant to Richard has grown suspicious of his wife Marrianne and does an internet search for her but is exasperated at getting 3057 results. It made me exasperated because even taking into account that this movie is 6 years old getting just 3,057 results is not realistic, 3,000,000 maybe but not 3,057. But then to be honest "The Perfect Marriage" as a whole made me exasperated because it is one of the least exciting thrillers I have watched even for a TV movie. Pretty much everything about it from the actual storyline through to the acting ended up being exasperating but not as exasperating at how false it ends up.
4 yeas after murdering her husband with her then lover Brent (James Wilder), Annie Grayson (Jamie Luner) has become Marrianne Danforth, married to Richard (William R. Moses - Emma's Wish) who along with his father run a very successful business and are well off. But at a charity fundraiser Brent re-enters her life and whilst saying she is happy he suggests otherwise. Together they plan to first bump of Richard's rich father and then Richard. But Richard's assistant Carrie (Lisa Langlois) becomes suspicious of Marianne when she discovers that she has been lying to Richard as to where she has been.
The thing about "The Perfect Marriage" is that by design it is a very predictable movie, you know that Marrianne is going to murder but she wont get away with, bad guys rarely win and never in a TV movie. You even know this before her former lover and partner in crime Brent shows up to spoil her new life showing up at a charity fundraiser she has organised. So whilst we get the subplot of disgruntled assistant Carrie discovering that Marrianne has been seeing Brent on the secret it boils down to a story of who Marrianne will murder, how and who will eventually stop her. Now maybe some will find this entertaining but because it is so text book and obvious it does become boring.
What doesn't help matters is the lack of imagination as Marrianne having used a lethal heart attack inducing drug on a former husband has it as her weapon of choice again. It also means that because we know she delivers the injection in the neck of her victims you can guess when the fatal dose is coming, actually you can guess a long time before that because you can guess who her victims will be very quickly. Add to this that everything is telegraphed, such as when Carrie finds a parking ticket in Marrianne's car having been asked to take it for a service and to look in the glove box for the service book. And what this means is that "The Perfect Marriage" is obvious, text book and telegraphed even when it comes to who will eventually be the one to stop Marrianne.
There is one saving grace to all of this predictable tosh and that is Jamie Luner as Marrianne and not because she gives an amazing performance. Nope Luner slightly over plays the evilness of Marrianne delivering almost pantomime evil glares which are false but at least are entertaining. The rest of the cast which includes William R. Moses as Richard, James Wilder as Brent and Sophie Gendron as Tia basically deliver flat performances of flat characters.
But for me the worst thing about "The Perfect Marriage" is that it is too unbelievable, going beyond the point of being thrilling escapism. As already mentioned there is the terrible scene where Tia does an internet search for Marrianne and gets so few results it is a joke but that is just one of many false moments. Throw in the way that Tia manages to piece things together so she goes from nothing to discovering that Marrianne and Brent were seeing each other is ridiculous. It's not like I look for complete realism but this takes things too far.
What this all boils down to is that "The Perfect Marriage" is not a good movie and not even an average TV movie. From being to text book to pushing the boundaries of realism it doesn't work and it is only the over the top evil stares from Jamie Luner which makes it entertaining.