When Nikki, a lawyer living a fast-paced life, gets a strange invitation to go to dinner with a man who claims to be Jesus Christ, she decides to take him up on the offer, if only to prove him wrong. Throughout the course of the evening, as their conversation ranges on a wide variety of topics, including world religions and the nature God, Nikki begins to see this man for Who He really is, but will she let Him into her heart? By the time the last course comes around, who will she surrender to?
Production Quality (.5 point)
For 2005, this is a very poor production effort. Though the sets are very limited and the budget seems adequate for this small scale of a production, the Kelly’s Filmworks team did not deliver. Video quality is grainy and there is a lot of poor lighting throughout, including some cheesy-looking soft light. Though most of the props are okay and audio quality is decent, the soundtrack is very cheap sounding. The editing is very basic, but there is not that much content to work with here anyway. In the end, this is a disappointing effort that should have been easy to execute.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
As the original proprietor of the Encounter-style movie, Jefferson Moore was definitely on to something interesting in The Perfect Strange. This was an original idea that had a lot of potential, yet we feel like it did not reach its full potential. Though there are very few characters that have long monologuing dialogue, we don’t really get to know them all that well. The portrayal of Jesus is pretty good, but Nikki just seems like a cardboard cutout. She talks a lot without every really saying anything substantial to build her character. There are some interesting issues raised in this plot, but the plotline is fairly linear and lacking in deep content. It’s all very surface where it should be deep and concludes predictably. Basically, where The Perfect Stranger could have been truly dynamic, it only scratched the surface.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
This small cast is mostly average, yet they are the brightest spot of this film. There are no real embarrassments or glaring errors, but they also seem like they’re holding back. Jefferson Moore is fine as Jesus, but other cast members seem inhibited for some reason. Emotion doesn’t really come through properly. But in the end, this section is just average.
The Perfect Stranger is a good concept that needs deepening and more creativity. Having two people talk over dinner about pertinent issues is not really the best way to present this otherwise good idea. Monologuing becomes old and wearing, thus boring the audience. Unfortunately, the entirety of this film doesn’t hold the attention very well, so important points will be lost. Christian film makers need to make sure they are packaging their good ideas properly so that their messages can be properly conveyed. This is the biggest movie lesson one can learn from this film.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points