Spencer Brennan & Lara Solanki/Codeblack Films
The Perfect Match arrived in theaters on Friday, offering fans of the romantic comedy genre a familiar story with a twist.
Starring former 106 & Park host Terrance J and pop/R&B songstress Cassie Ventura – in their very first leading roles – the Billie Woodruff-directed flick is in the vein of the 1992 Eddie Murphy comedy classic Boomerang, featuring appearances and cameos by Paula Patton, Donald Faison, Lauren London, Brandy, French Montana, Jessica White and Robin Givens.
Produced by Queen Latifah, the sexy flick tells the story of a successful bachelor who can’t commit to relationships, until he meets the woman who changes his outlook on love – and lust.
Ventura, mostly known as the single moniker Cassie, portrays his object of affection.
The New London, Connecticut, native, who previously appeared in the dance movie Step Up 2: The Streets, said it wasn’t a role she went after. It came to her.
“Terrance J called me up and they were looking for the perfect girl for The Perfect Match and he sent me the script and the sides and he was like, ‘If this is something you like, come in the office and we’ll practice it together and everything,’” she revealed. “Honestly the chemistry was great and I was really comfortable from the beginning. And I really love the character Eva because she is a strong woman, she’s a businesswoman that really makes it very clear from the very beginning that she knows what she wants and that is this casual relationship.”
“Casual relationship” is a conservative way to describe the hot and heavy sexual dynamic that is displayed between the two lead characters. Eva, who is a designer-label clad entrepreneur, has a liberated approach to sexuality and she’s not ashamed to go after what she wants.
Though she was a natural onscreen, the usually private Ventura was a little nervous about baring so much of herself onscreen – with someone she considers a friend. But the counsel of her longtime boyfriend Sean “Diddy” Combs came in handy for both budding actors.
“Yeah, there was a bit of anxiety on both sides for him and I and I told Puff about it and he was just like, ‘Look, this is you guys’ job and you have to make this story believable.’ So he went ahead and Facetimed with Terrance and they had a conversation about it like, ‘Don’t be nervous.’ I think coming from him, not because of any personal situation, but because you know it’s him and Terrance looks up to him as well as I do, that it was great to have that support.”
“The love scenes,” she added, “were actually, that was one of the first things that Terrace brought up when he called me. He was like, ‘Are you comfortable doing it?’ I was like, ‘Well let me read it first and see how I feel.’ And there was no practice. The first take was the first time anything happened. It is choreographed and there’s people standing all over the place and it’s a little bit uncomfortable.”
The Perfect Match, which is distributed by Codeblack Entertainment through Lionsgate, fills a void for fans of black rom-coms such as The Best Man, Love & Basketball and Brown Sugar.
But Ventura, who says she’s working on a new music project, maintains the film has universal appeal.
“I really do feel that there is the thing that’s attached to having black people in a black film that it is a black film but I think that it can exist past that,” she confided. “ And that’s what’s so exciting about this week and it being released, that across the board all of the feedback that I’ve gotten from everybody is that it’s just real romantic comedy for everyone.”
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