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Perfect (film)

Promotional poster
Directed by James Bridges
Produced by James Bridges
Written by Aaron Latham (article)
James Bridges
Music by Narada Michael Walden
Cinematography Gordon Willis
Edited by Jeff Gourson
Delphi III
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
June 7, 1985 (1985-06-07)
Running time
119 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[1]
Box office $12,918,858 (US)

Perfect is a 1985 American film drama, directed by James Bridges and starring John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis.

The film was based on a series of articles that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in the late 1970s, chronicling the popularity of Los Angeles health clubs amongst single people.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
  • Soundtrack 4
  • Filming locations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Rolling Stone reporter Adam Lawrence (John Travolta) is sent from New York to Los Angeles to write an article about a businessman arrested for a drug dealing. During his stay in L.A., Adam sees a chance to collect material for another story about how "Fitness clubs are the singles bars of the '80s".

He visits "The Sport Connection," a popular gym where he meets workout instructor Jessie Wilson (Jamie Lee Curtis) and asks for an interview. Because of a previous bad experience with the press when she was a competitive swimmer, Jessie declines.

Adam joins the fitness club and soon coaxes other club members to tell him about the gym and its impact on their love lives. Some, such as fun-loving Linda and Sally, are all too candid about their experiences with the opposite sex.

Although she doesn't agree to be a part of his story, a romance does ultimately develop between Jessie and Adam, resulting in a moral dilemma; as a journalist he has lost his objective point of view.

Jessie comes to trust him. Less cynical than before, Adam makes a concerted effort to show Jessie that not all journalists are out for the cheap sensation. He writes an in-depth, fair-minded analysis of fitness clubs as a singles meeting scene. But it is deemed unacceptable by his boss, Rolling Stone's editor in chief Mark Roth (Jann Wenner).

Adam's article is turned over to others for editing, using material supplied by colleague Frankie, a photographer. She finds Jessie's long-ago appearance in a magazine with embarrassing details about a romance. Adam travels for another assignment and is unaware of the changes being made in his story and too late to stop it. This has devastating impact on Jessie, as well as on others like Sally and Linda, described as "the most used piece of equipment in the gym."

Adam tries to explain Jessie the whole situation but can't. Meanwhile, he must attend a trial at which he's supposed to testify. As a reporter, using rights granted by the First Amendment, he decides not to comply with a judge who orders Adam to hand over tapes from the businessman's interview. Adam is jailed for contempt of court.

Jessie can see that Adam is a man of his word and believes him that he did not write the article the way it appeared in Rolling Stone.




The film was neither a commercial nor a critical success.[2][3][4] Perfect maintains a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actor (John Travolta), Worst Supporting Actress (Marilu Henner) and Worst Screenplay. The movie was nominated for a Stinkers Bad Movie Awards for Worst Picture.[5] In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Quentin Tarantino claimed this movie was "greatly underappreciated due to Curtis' very 'tight' performance."

The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.[6]

On October 16, 2015, the film was covered on the bad movie podcast How Did This Get Made?[7]


Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released June 4, 1985
Genre Pop
Length 41:20
Label Arista Records
Producer Ralph Burns

The soundtrack to Perfect was initially released in 1985 as a 12" vinyl record, and later re-released on CD.

Side A
  1. "(Closest Thing To) Perfect" (Jermaine Jackson) – 3:50
  2. "I Sweat (Going Through the Motions)" (Nona Hendryx) – 3:54
  3. "All Systems Go" (Pointer Sisters) – 3:48
  4. "Shock Me" (Jermaine Jackson and Whitney Houston) – 5:08
  5. "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)" (Wham!) – 4:43
Side B
  1. "Wear Out the Grooves" (Jermaine Stewart) – 4:33
  2. "Hot Hips" (Lou Reed) – 3:33
  3. "Talking to the Wall" (Dan Hartman) – 3:59
  4. "Masquerade" (Berlin) – 3:48
  5. "Lay Your Hands on Me" (Thompson Twins) – 4:11

Filming locations

  • "Sports Connection" fitness centre scenes were filmed in actual Sports Connection fitness club (now Sports Club/LA, a gigantic athletic facility in West Los Angeles), known for a place where the single persons were meeting.
  • In the opening scene, the camera pans in on The Jersey Journal sign in Jersey City.


  1. ^ "Disasters Outnumber Movie Hits".  
  3. ^ "Nothing Is Perfect, Not Even This Travolta Movie Movie Reviews".  
  4. ^ "Perfect".  
  5. ^ "1985 8th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards".  
  6. ^ Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing.  
  7. ^ "How Did This Get Made? Episode 121". Earwolf. Earwolf. 

External links

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