Like a rom-com on the throes of wit, the title A Perfect Fit has two meanings. Saski (Nadya Arina) is a fashion blogger, designer, stylist and is on the prowl for things that fit; in one scene she has a measuring tape around her neck. Then, there is the romantic fit, assuming a lover to be a shoe, a shirt, who drapes over you with minimal creasing and fuss. The wit is in the double meaning, and so is the agony, because the movie won’t stop narrating this double-ness, captioning it so obviously that we don’t know what’s text and what’s subtext anymore.
Saski is engaged to Deni (Giorgino Abraham), a rich brute who is paying for her mother’s operations. Through contrived luck — this includes a leaf — she meets Rio (Refal Hady), who is the owner of a small shoe boutique in Bali. They are kind, lovely individuals, and the story conspires to make us want nothing else but for them to be together. Deni has such a wholesale villainy — he is violent, bashful, abusive, entitled. He insists on a ceremony at their wedding where Saski’s virginity will be put to test. So pronounced is his antagonism in the story that finally when we are told that he frequently cheats on Saski, it neither moves the needle nor breaks the camel’s back.
Rio too is given a side-plot with a sudden engagement to Tiara (Anggika Bolsterli), who can be best described as a profit-mongering industrialist. With such pronounced odds, as viewers we never get to doubt our initial assessment — that Rio and Saski end up together. If anything, this assessment only snowballs into a conviction which when finally realized — this includes a goose feather — makes for good cheer.
The film itself, running almost at 2 hours, is little more than a tourism ad for Bali. There are the beautiful Batik prints, which pair sartorially sometimes and classically sometimes with Saski’s wardrobe. The whole movie is styled with such a beautiful eye for colours (deep purple silk blouses next to wet green banana leaves), patterns, and silhouettes, it can be a fashion film unto itself. The flooded paddy fields, the cleansing rituals, bamboo bridges, palm oil plantations, Balinese percussion, Mepantigan mud wrestling, Jukut Area made from banana stems and flowers, Lontar reading and calligraphy — there is such a polished, performed conviction in framing these aspects of gilded Balinese life. Nothing feels real, everything feels aspired. The fault and the fondness of the film lies here.
There is certainly an emotional passiveness that runs through the movie, where you don’t realize you care for these characters till they finally meet up and kiss. Besides their goodness, their kindness, there is little we know about Saski and Rio as people. We don’t question this thin veilish characterization because the villainy is so coated and abrasive, just being good feels like enough to be compatible. Even the circumstances under which they meet — bizarre, contrived, lazy — don’t agonize because there is no emotional involvement in the film even at a craft level— you don’t care if it is a good or a bad movie. This cynical indifference is increasingly becoming the hallmark of a viewer’s relationship to the rom-com genre. The pursuit for beauty, ephemeral and wax-resist dyed, is often, shockingly, enough.