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The Perfect Host (2010)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Thriller  -  7 May 2011 (Japan)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 16,133 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 66 user | 106 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

A criminal on the run cons his way into the wrong dinner party where the host is anything but ordinary.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cooper Barnes ...
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Simone De Marchi
Annie Campbell ...
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Monica (as Indira Gibson)
George Cheung ...
Storekeeper (as George Kee Cheung)
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Thief (as Brooke 'Mikey' Anderson)
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Car Rental Worker
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Girl at Party
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Man in Polaroid
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Storyline

Injured after committing a bank robbery, John Taylor is desperate to find a place to hide out and approaches the home of Warick Wilson. John manages to get himself invited into the house by posing as a friend of a friend and spinning a sob story of lost luggage and a violent mugging. Inside, Warick, a consummate host, is making the final preparations for an impeccable dinner party. He insists John stay for the party, but as the evening begins it becomes obvious Warick may not be what he first appears. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dinner Parties Are A Dying Art. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violent content and brief sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 May 2011 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Perfect Host  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,388 (USA) (1 July 2011)

Gross:

$48,430 (USA) (2 September 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film only had a budget of $500,000 See more »

Goofs

During the flashback to the bath-tub scene where John is teaching Simone how to play chess, the chessboard is incorrectly oriented (r/h rook starting square should always be white). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Thief: [with gun] Open the register!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.22 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Wannabe in L.A.
Written by Josh Homme and Jessie Everett Hughes
Performed by Eagles of Death Metal
Courtesy of Downtown Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
David Hyde Pierce gives an excellent performance & the movie has many twists and turns.
15 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the type of movie where I wish I hadn't seen the trailer before I saw it. The trailer doesn't need to go so much into detail and tell you some of the upcoming plot twists and surprises the film has in store for it's audiences. Once again, Hollywood gives us too much and doesn't let the movie play on it's own strengths (like the performances of their cast) and they feel that they have to shock and awe us with some twists in the trailer. If you haven't seen the trailer -- don't. Just watch this one based on the summary and my review alone. Don't worry, you can trust me -- the movie is totally worth it.

John Taylor (Crawford) is just your typical, everyday thief. He's running from the law, wounded and all the cops have his description and the make and model of his getaway car. So, he ditches it and decides to hang low for a little bit by pretending to be whatever he needs to be in order to get inside someone/anyone's house. After digging through some mail, he finds a postcard from Australia from Julia addressed to Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce). Jackpot. He pretends to be a friend of Julia's from Australia in order to have Warwick let him in. Once inside, some things go awry and then the tables get turned, so to speak. I can't really tell you too much about what goes on inside the house, because then that will spoil the movie. About the only thing I can tell you is that Warwick is a seemingly perfect host who kindly takes John in and caters to his needs because he has some guests arriving for a dinner party anyway, so what's one more, right? There is much to like in The Perfect Host. Standing out exceedingly is David Hyde Pierce. He gives a fantastic performance as Warwick. Yes, it may seem like his Niles character from TV's Frasier, but there's definitely more to him than meets the eye. I am not sure of too many actors who could have pulled it off as Hyde Pierce did. Crawford also does a nice job holding his own against Pierce but he's not the reason people will be buzzing about this movie.

Another thing that the film has going for it is the many twists and turns in the road until the final resolve. You think it'll be going one way and it goes the other. Your mind zigs, it zags. Your mind zags, it zigs. It's crazy busy with surprises and close calls. I enjoyed not knowing where the film would take us next and reveled in the idea that all bets were off about how it was going to end because of all the craziness that preceded.

The very subtle humor and overall quirkiness of the film caught me by surprise as well. The script is very well-written and thought out methodically in order for the pieces of the puzzle to fit together. The writer/director injected the film with some wonderful elements of humor and snappy dialog as to not let the film become too dark and extremely foreboding, I enjoyed that immensely. Kudos to him for keeping a light tone fully intact for what could have easily become just another mindless horror/thriller film.

Now let's discuss why the film isn't reaching "A" status. The initial plot is just a bit too neat, isn't it? One of the first things they teach you about writing screenplays is that audiences really hate coincidences. One, maybe.... two, three and four? Come on. It fits together too perfectly. There has to be a better reason for John Taylor to even step foot inside that house --- most criminals would hide out in the woods or find an abandoned shack somewhere, the last thing they want to be doing is coming across more people. Once inside the house, John also makes some silly character flaws that shouldn't have even been brought up in the first place...again, coincidence. I understand that if they didn't happen then we wouldn't have a movie... but... to me, it has to be better constructed than what was delivered. The film also has a few scenes that can easily be cut from the film because they don't advance the plot or give us any new details whatsoever.

However, the problems are minimal. It's still a very good watch and it'll be one that you will talk about and think about for a few days afterwards. As I am sitting here typing this, I am actually looking forward to sitting down with some friends and sharing this movie with them. It's too bad that the movie wasn't seen by a wider audience because Hyde Pierce would surely gotten some awards for his portrayal of Warwick Wilson.

More reviews at www.soveryterry.com

Final Grade: B+


21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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