written by Laura J.
The Perfect Find by Tia Williams (2016)
The Perfect Find directed by Numa Perrier (2023)
Jenna’s fashion career comeback hits a snag when she falls for a charming, much younger coworker-who happens to be her boss’s son. As sparks fly, Jenna must decide if she’ll risk it all on a secret romance.
I usually have a spoiler free review section, but I am just going to try out a different structure for this video, and dive right in-which means there will be spoilers for both the book and movie!
I’m actually going to begin with Darcy, Jenna’s career competitor that she has to go to for a job after her break-up and losing her past job. In the book and movie, we see that Darcy dislikes Jenna because she is envious of her and thinks Jenna stole all the jobs Darcy had wanted and should have gotten. We also find out that Jenna was dating a guy who she thought was single but turns out he was Darcy’s boyfriend and Darcy hasn’t forgiven her. (In the book, she has a five month break from Brian, and this is when she dates the other guy who is with Darcy.)
In the book, we learn how Darcy had her own problems with abusive parents but that she herself also wasn’t the best mom to Eric and by the end of the book he isn’t talking to her really. Whereas in the movie, Darcy is a better person and by the end she embraces the relationship between Eric and Jenna.
Jenna and Brian
At the beginning of book and movie, Jenna had gone through a break-up with a guy named Brian. In the book, Brian is white and they had started dating when they were like 19 and in college. They are together for 20 years, and the last year or so they are engaged, but Brian isn’t interested in actually making wedding plans. He also isn’t interested in being intimate with her or going out and doing stuff. Jenna also wants to start a family, but Brian no longer is interested.
They reconnect near the endo f the book when Brian’s mother died, whom Jenna had loved as her own mother. He then takes her out to the movies in the park but has a very lavish spread and Jenna realizes she isn’t interested in that fancy life anymore and prefers her life with Eric. Brian also tells her that the reason he was so distant in the last bit of their relationship is because he was losing all of their money due to bad investments basically and it was making him depressed.
In the movie, she and Brian were together for only ten years, and had not been engaged. We don’t get much backstory on their relationship. He does come to her place after the death of his mom, but she just drops him back at his place and that’s that.
In the book, Jenna realizes where she went wrong in her relationship with Brian. For example, she always looked to him to take the lead. But once they broke up, and through her relationship with Eric, she learns to take life into her own hands and not sit by waiting for the other person to call the shots.
Jenna and Eric in the book
Jenna and Eric meet at a party and in the book, they have some flirty banter, then have an intense make-out session on a lounge at a party. She drunkenly tells him she loves him, and when her friends interrupt their kissing, she calls him her boyfriend before passing out and her friends take her home.
When she sees Eric is her boss’s son and they will be working closely together, they have multiple arguments where rude things are said on both sides. But they lay their differences aside and start a successful series together. Eventually they go out on an actual date because they can’t keep away from each other romantically. They date secretly for like seven months before Darcy finds out when a model who saw them together tells Darcy about it. Darcy then sets up cameras in the office and records them having sex in one of the closets. She then calls them out in a meeting and it is a very public affair which ends with Jenna being fired and Eric storming out. By this point, Eric and Jenna had basically broken up anyway, and after this they don’t see each other for like four years.
When they do coincidently run into each other, Eric has traveled the world and has been achieving a lot in his movie career. Jenna then tells him that she has a son and that he is the father. She says she didn’t know she was pregnant until a few months after their breakup and doesn’t tell him because she knows he would give up his career for her and baby and she wanted him to have the chance to live his life. But now he is ready to be a dad, and he and Jenna get back together.
Jenna and Eric in the movie
In the movie, Eric and Jenna have the make-out at the party but it isn’t as intense as it had been in the book and she doesn’t pass out.
They then work together, and while we see that they sometimes bring out the worst in each other when they argue, their arguments don’t seem as natural as they had felt in the book. They also start having sex much sooner in the movie then they had in the book.
As in the book, they have a falling out but it is very shortly lived. She then goes to his place (where he lives with his mom) to apologize and they start having sex in the living room when Darcy comes home and yells at them and fires Jenna.
A few months pass, when Jenna reaches out to Eric and tells him she is pregnant but he needs some time to think. Darcy then comes to see Jenna and talks about her struggles as a mom and how she and Jenna are family now thanks to the baby.
Eric then decides he does want to be a dad and it ends with him and Jenna together with her being pregnant.
Jenna wanting babies
One of the many reasons Jenna and Brian broke up is because Jenna wants a family, and Brian doesn’t. When she is with Eric, he wants kids, but feels he is too young for that right now. They end up breaking up near the end of the book because she wants a baby and since Eric can’t provide that for her right now, they can’t be together.
When she finds out later than she is pregnant, she keeps it because she had wanted a baby so badly and getting pregnant when you are over 40 is hard enough.
In the movie, Eric tells Jenna that he doesn’t want kids. But in the movie, Jenna wanting to be a mom isn’t as big of a thing as it had been in the book.
The age gap
In both, Jenna is 40. In the book Eric 22, whereas in the movie they never say his exact age but they do say he has his masters so he must be older than 22. The movie never really addresses the age gap whereas the book does a good job showing why this relationship would be exciting for each of them but also why it would be tough to make it work.
I like that in the book, they break up and then reconnect and get back together after four years. Even if a 22-year-old thinks they want to settle down and live a certain kind of life, they are so young that in the future they may regret that choice and even feel that they were manipulated by the older person.
We also see how they connect on a deep level, while at the same time have some age gap issues like having differing views on what is socially acceptable behavior and also having a hard time seeing the other in their world.
The Perfect Find
In the book they create a web series called the perfect find where each video is them with a different celebrity and help them create the “perfect find” like a certain piece of clothing that is hard to come by. I thought this was a cool concept and made sense.
In the movie, their video made less sense. Like itw as based on old Hollywood and recreating the looks, but I didn’t get how this was a series and it just wasn’t as clearly explained.
Book vs Movie
The book is a very formulaic romance. I read an Emily Henry book a couple months back, and these two romances weren’t the same yet they followed literally the exact same structure! Even though it was very formulaic, I did like the character of Jenna and enjoyed her arc through the story. I also could see why she and Eric were attracted to each other and as said, I think Tia Williams executed the age gap well.
I love Gabrielle Union and wanted to love the movie, but it just didn’t flow as well as the book and their relationship through the course of the movie just didn’t always make sense. I also did not like the movie ending and much preferred the book.
I will say though, there is a part in the movie when they are arguing while each are dressed in costume and it was pretty funny seeing two people have a serious disagreement while wearing costumed masks!
The movie is on Netflix though, so if you have a membership and you like romances, you may enjoy it. I am of course going to say the book wins though and again, if reading romances is your thing, you should check this one out!