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The Perfectionist (1987)

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Barbara and Steward are happily married and have three kids. But one day Barbara decides that her children are old enough now and she can quit as housewife and start to study. Against the ... See full summary »



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Title: The Perfectionist (1987)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Gunn
Stuart Gunn
Adam Willits ...
Shaun Gunn
Shane Tickner ...
Tom Gunn
Elliot Jurd ...
Nick Gunn
Noel Ferrier ...
Jack Gunn
Jennifer Claire ...
Shirley Gunn
Kate Fitzpatrick ...
Vic Hawkins ...
Linda Cropper ...
Margaret Bridges
Maggie Dence ...
Rosie Peters
Tessa Mallos ...
Italian Babysitter
Julie Godfrey ...
Depressed Babysitter
Sharon Millerchip ...
Young Babysitter


Barbara and Steward are happily married and have three kids. But one day Barbara decides that her children are old enough now and she can quit as housewife and start to study. Against the will of her husband she employs babysitter Eric while she attends university. Steward reacts increasingly nervous about the presence of another man in his family and brings their marriage into a crisis. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A warm, witty battle of the sexes.




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Three's Trouble  »

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Did You Know?


One of four David Williamson written feature films starring Australian actress Jacki Weaver. The films are Stork (1971), Petersen (1974), The Perfectionist (1987) and The Removalists (1975). See more »

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User Reviews

Mistaken Ideals Lead To Marital Misfortune.
31 December 2006 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Australian feature films often provide a convincing slant toward the unexpected, oft including a bit of surrealism as an added attraction. This is not the case with this wispy story of adultery and parenting, notable in the main for its predictable narrative and trite dialogue. Snobbish academician Stuart Gunn (John Waters) and his spouse Barbara (Jacki Weaver) are not only faced with the rearing of three highly rambunctious young sons, but marital problems as well, Barbara speaking out concerning her yen to develop a career of her own, an unsatisfying prospect to vain Stuart. She matriculates at a local college, studying to obtain a degree in psychology, and a rift develops between the pair, increased in unsurprising fashion when Barbara hires a good-looking male babysitter, Erik, as overseer of her children while she attends classes. As might be expected, freedom-coveting Barbara and Erik, an itinerant Dane, promptly fall in love, leading to the ostensible death of the Gunn marriage, and to a state of bewilderment for the three youngsters. After the illicit liaison is revealed to her husband, the Gunns separate, forcing Stuart to find motivation for tending his sons, essentially due to misbehaving Barbara's eschewal of household responsibility. During some of the screenplay's least spirited sequences, Stuart attends a parenting class in hopes of learning to be a more efficient father. After Barbara's affair with the dashing Dane is ended in disappointment, the chance for reviving her marriage with Stuart may be one that she will wish to take as this melodramatic work moves to its easily divinable climax. With the directing and acting being alike laborious, there is little here to sponsor a storyline designed to create viewer interest. Along with a mixed review for the cast must come dissatisfaction over a script that lacks both wit and pace. Students of Australian cinema are cognizant of its oft-found and inventive quirkiness, but this flaccid production's unwieldy scenario and hackneyed tone prevail.

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