“A Perfect Fit” is a light, schmaltzy Indonesian romance about superstitions and shoes.
A shoe designer and a fashion blogger meet cute, but seem destined to marry wealthier, bullying partners who offer security and a lot of stress. What’s it going to take to pair these two up?
Yes, it’s cute enough to make your teeth ache. There’s no edge to it, the picture’s respectul tone means it doesn’t wring many laughs out of every time someone hands someone else a tiny palm leaf and orders her to “spin around three times, or advise that “People who had bad luck are in need of a breath that’s new.”
A “cleansing” it is!
Will these two ever get it together or find a “perfect fit?” As Saski quips in her blog, “The journey pf a thousand miles begins with a fabulous pair of shoes!”
Saski (Nadya Arina), an upbeat fashion blogger with a sickly mother (Ayu Laksmi) who is deep into Lontar, the palm scriptures of the ancients. That’s why Saski is marching towards the altar with the handsome, rich bully boy Deni (Giorgino Abraham). That’s also why she lets herself get arm-twisted into having her fortune told.
The spiritualist tells her which fabrics “repel bad energy,” and foretells “You will find a new path to travel on.” Here, take this “spell” with you, and ignore it at your own peril.
And despite Saski’s insistence that “life’s not some movie with a silly prophecy that has to be fulfilled,” she lets BFF Anda (Laura Theux) talk her into it.
That’s what puts her in the not-yet-opened shoe shop, Shoes With Love, where hunky Rio (Refal Hady) presides. He’s Mister “Those don’t suit you” about the shoes she picks out, and offers his interpretation on what she needs, what suits and what will work.
“You can tell what a person is like by their shoes,” he opines (in Indonesian with subtitles, or dubbed into English). Shoes determine “fate,” he suggests, making way too much eye contact, then telling Saski “You’re staring at me. Please don’t. You might fall in love.”
That there is Bali’s best pick-up line ever.
“As someone whose days are filled with shoes, my heart is always a step ahead.”
That should settle it. Except his mother is anxious that he link up with childhood friend and ruthless shoe out-sourceress Tiara (Anggika Bolsterli). She’s just as pushy as Kaski’s Deni, wealthy and smitten. Her bullying is all aimed at the working classes.
Amidst all the rituals, ceremonies and traditions, and talk about “Oh no, these are melinjo leaves! They’re supposed to be JACKfruit!” and fairytales and “Ladybugs are said to bring patience,” there’s a sweet, chaste romance that kind of gets lost in the mix.
The various rites and superstitions seem mockable and mocked. But it’s a light “Who believes in that stuff anyway?” ridicule, and as the whole movie is driven by Saski’s “fate” and “bad luck,” which is an endorsement.
The leads have good chemistry. But the obstacles to their being together are worn out cliches with a light frosting of “cleansing,” “readings” and Lontar and leaves.
Deni is a caricature of the “projecting” paranoid and ill-tempered boyfriend, and Tiara is the “working woman” cliche incarnate.
So “A Perfect Fit?” Not perfect. Not that close. But cute, here and there.
MPA Rating: TV-PG, violence
Cast: Nadya Arina, Refal Hady, Giorgino Abraham and Laura Theux
Credits: Directed by Hadrah Daeng Ratu, script by
Garin Nugroho and Hadrah Daeng Ratu. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:52