The Perfect Man (2005 film)

The Perfect Man is a 2005 American romantic comedy film directed by Mark Rosman and written by Gina Wendkos. It stars Hilary Duff, Heather Locklear, Ben Feldman and Chris Noth. Shooting for the film began in May 2004.

The Perfect Man
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMark Rosman
Produced by
Screenplay byGina Wendkos
Story by
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyJohn R. Leonetti
Edited byCara Silverman
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • June 17, 2005 (2005-06-17) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$10 million
Box office$19.7 million[2]

Teenager Holly Hamilton (Duff) is tired of moving every time her single mom Jean (Locklear) is through with her latest mistake of a man. To prevent her mother from making another bad decision, Holly has an idea: create a secret admirer who is the perfect man. However, things spin out of control and Holly has to improvise.


Single mother Jean relocates every time she gets her heart broken by another guy, much to the dismay of her teenage daughter, Holly. Holly devises a plan to invent a secret admirer for her mother, so she will be happy and not have to relocate anymore. Holly overhears her friend Amy's uncle Ben ordering flowers for a woman, and decides to use his advice on women (which she acquires by telling him she needs help for a school project on romance). Following Ben's advice, she sends her mother orchids and other gifts and love notes, and is soon communicating with her mother as this fictitious admirer (who Holly names Ben) via the Internet. As her mother becomes more interested, Holly has to find a photo of this admirer. She sends one of the real Ben, and then devises a reason why they cannot meet in person, claiming he is working in China. While she is developing the online romance between her mother and fake Ben, and preventing her mother and the real Ben from meeting in person, she finds herself drawn to a cute, artistic boy in her class, Adam, but is unwilling to get close to anyone due to her history of being uprooted and having to say goodbye so often.

As the charade continues, and as Holly spends more time with Ben while picking his brain for romance tips, she slowly begins to see qualities in Ben which make her believe he is her mother's "perfect man". Holly asks for Adam's help to disguise himself as Ben on the telephone and break up with Jean. But he fails, as he is revealed to be harboring feelings for Holly as well, in effect telling Holly's mother the opposite of what is planned.

The following day at school, Holly confronts Adam angrily because of his failed attempt to break up with her mother over the phone disguised as Ben. Adam apologizes and tells Holly that he just got distracted. Holly demands to know what he could have possibly been distracted by, and Adam admits his feelings for Holly by kissing her. That night, Lenny, a man who is infatuated with Jean, proposes to her and she replies with a "maybe". Holly, in an act of desperation, then disguises herself as Ben's secretary and arranges a meeting between Ben and her mother. The next day, when Holly mistakenly thinks Ben is marrying someone else, she disrupts the wedding to tell Ben he should be with her mother, not knowing he was there because the bride is his dear friend, and he was catering the wedding. A disappointed Ben follows Holly out and she admits the full story. Holly then goes to the meeting place and admits the whole ruse to Jean, who seems to take it terribly. Days pass, and Holly and her mother maintain a cold relationship, and Holly is offended by her interpretation of Adam's drawing of "Princess Holly". Holly begs Jean for them to move again. Her mother is humiliated and wants to stay, but Holly tells her to leave just this once for herself, as she always has to move for her mother. Her mother cannot argue with that so they start to pack. Adam, for what he thinks is the last time, goes to Holly's home and gives Holly's mother his drawing, commenting that the drawing has another side that Holly did not see before she left, which turns out to be Adam telling Holly that he will always be there for her.

Touched, Jean logs onto the Internet using Holly's screen name and talks to Adam. Adam, thinking it is Holly, says that her mom is setting a bad example, getting up and leaving when things get bad and that, in return, is making a bad role model for her own daughters. Jean is deeply moved by this and decides to stay, finding a new job and trying to rebuild her life without running away. She also apologizes to her daughter and tells her to look at the other side of the drawing, making Holly happy.

Meanwhile, Ben is inspired by what Holly told him about her mother, and with Holly's help, Jean and Ben finally meet and Jean finds her "perfect man" at last. Holly is on the road to her perfect man as well since she has some stability in her life and finally opens up and admits her feelings for Adam. At the end, Adam and Holly go to their first school dance together.



Shooting for the film began in May 2004 and was based on screenwriter Heather Robinson's life in Tucson, Arizona. Carson Kressley missed two days of shooting on his reality makeover show, Queer Eye, due to filming on The Perfect Man overrunning. Queer Eye explained his absence by claiming the fashion expert was busy shopping. On the weekends, Duff was busy recording songs for her then-upcoming self-titled album.


Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 6% based on 115 reviews.[3] The critical consensus describes the film as "a lifeless, occasionally creepy movie that gives romantic comedies a bad name".[3] Metacritic rated the film as having "generally unfavorable reviews" and gave the film a score of 27% based on a normalized average of 29 reviews.[4]

Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $5,300,980 million in 2,087 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking number eight at the box office, the best debut for a teen comedy film that week. By the end of its run, The Perfect Man grossed $16,535,005 domestically and $3,235,470 internationally, totaling $19,770,475 worldwide.[5]


The Perfect Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedJune 14, 2005[6]

The Perfect Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is the soundtrack album to the film of the same name, released on June 14, 2005, by independent label Curb Records.[7]

Track listing

1."Collide"Howie Day3:10
2."I Will Learn to Love Again"Kaci Battaglia3:15
3."Better Than This"Kimberley Locke3:21
4."Real Life Fairytale"Plumb2:19
5."Let It Go"Jadon Lavik2:44
6."The Real Thing"Sara Overall3:14
7."If You Got What You Came For"Beth Thornley4:05
8."Make Room"Grits3:38
9."Mr. Roboto"Dennis DeYoung3:15
10."Lady"Dennis DeYoung4:06
11."Babe"Dennis DeYoung3:53
12."The Best of Times"Dennis DeYoung3:25

Awards and nominations

2007 Teen Choice Awards

2005 Golden Raspberry Awards


  1. "The Perfect Man (2005)". BFI. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  2. "The Perfect Man (2005) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  3. The Perfect Man at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. "The Perfect Man". Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  5. "The Perfect Man (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  6. "The Perfect Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
  7. "The Perfect Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
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