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Picture Perfect

Guest Author - Rain Battle

Kate loves her job. She really, really loves her job. She loves it so much that when she's finally up for the promotion she's been yearning for, she'll do anything to get it. When she meets with her boss, he lets her know how much he'd love to advance her... if only she was a bit more “stable” - stable as in married or at least engaged. Since she is very single and certainly has no plans to marry any time soon, Kate is devastated. Darcy (Illeana Douglas), Kate's best friend and co-worker, decides to help Kate get that promotion by telling their boss that Kate does indeed have a fabulous boyfriend. Not only that, Darcy tells the boss that Kate is engaged.

Initially Kate is stunned at Darcy’s bold lie, but soon she sees the genius in her friend’s plan. She’ll simply pretend to be engaged, accept the promotion, and then claim that she and her “fiancé” broke up. Problem solved! She even has a photo to back up her lie. It’s a picture of her with a man named Nick (Jay Mohr), a guy she recently met at a friend’s wedding. Kate’s plan actually works – at first. She gets the job she’s wanted for so long and even attracts the attention of Sam Mayfair (Kevin Bacon), a co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. Now that Kate is supposedly unavailable, Sam wants her, so she puts off the pretend break-up with her fake boyfriend. The trouble begins when Kate’s “boyfriend” is spotted on the news. After rescuing a child from a fire, Nick is being celebrated as a hero and instantly becomes a local celebrity. Now Kate has another dilemma - her boss wants to meet her “hero” boyfriend right away and she is forced to agree to dinner plans.

Desperate now, Kate calls Nick, the man she took the picture with, to meet with him and explain the situation. She quickly tells him the whole story, ending with an offer for him: she’ll pay him if he’ll pretend to be her fiancé and attend the dinner with her. They begin to plan a horrible public breakup, ending the lie and leaving Kate’s reputation intact. Nick even sleeps on Kate’s sofa so that they can get to know each other better to appear as if they’re really engaged. Before the big dinner, Nick confesses to Kate that he doesn’t want to go through with the phony breakup since he’s come to truly like her. Instead, he wants the two of them to actually pursue a relationship... but Kate only has eyes for Sam.

When Nick reluctantly keeps his end of the bargain, Kate realizes that she ruined her chances with a truly great guy. Unfortunately, it’s too late. Her boss warns her to stay away from such a negative influence to avoid losing her new position. Plus, if she does try to date Nick, she’ll have to explain the entire charade and risk losing everything. Is a chance with the guy of her dreams worth it?

“Picture Perfect” was cute and funny. At the outset, Kate’s selfishness makes her a very unsympathetic character, but we learn to like her and root for her to realize that Sam is a sleaze. I liked Jay Mohr as Nick. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy who is willing to do anything for a real chance with Kate. I always love Olympia Dukakis and Illeana Douglas, but there wasn’t much for them to do in this movie other than to provide a few laughs. A great one to rent, and a good look at just how far Jennifer Anniston has come.

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