Jeff Peters (John Malkovich) is an emotionally repressed scientist who cannot stand others because of their intellectual inferiority. He dreams of deep space exploration, which would be difficult because of the lack of human contact for long periods of time. He develops the Ulysses android (which looks exactly like him) for the purpose of space exploration, since an android would not be affected by the isolation.
Frankie Stone (Ann Magnuson) is hired to do public relations for the project. As a part of her job, she must get to know the android better, in order to “humanize” him for the benefit of the project’s sponsors in Congress. However, in his interaction with her, the android develops emotions and develops better social skills than the scientist himself. At one point the android impersonates Jeff in order to leave the laboratory, and stows away in Frankie’s Chevrolet Corvair.
After escaping he encounters human society at a shopping mall, buys a tuxedo, goes on a date with a woman (Laurie Metcalf) who thinks he is Jeff, reducing her to an emotional wreck, and then loses his head (literally) over Frankie’s best friend Trish (Glenne Headly) who has taken refuge in Frankie’s apartment after walking out on her husband who is a star on the popular daytime soap opera New Jersey.
Frankie also develops feelings for the android and befriends Jeff on a lesser level. Frankie’s mother, (Polly Bergen) learns from Frankie’s ex-boyfriend’s (Steve) mother that Frankie has a doctor boyfriend (Jeff) and expects Frankie to bring him to the wedding of Frankie’s sister. Frankie persuades Jeff to come, but Ulysses again absconds from the lab and gate-crashes the wedding.
Trish’s jealous TV-star husband crashes the wedding and gets into a fight with Ulysses. Ulysses short-circuits and crashes into the swimming pool, turning the occasion into a public relations disaster. Frankie is fired from her job and forbidden contact with Ulysses or anyone on the project. She attempts to say goodbye on launch day by using her connections with a former client and boyfriend (Steve), a candidate for Congress, but she only sees Ulysses during his farewell speech, in which he bemoans the tendency of humans and their tragic emotional relationships.
Making Mr. Right is a 1987 science fiction/comedy film, directed by Susan Seidelman; starring John Malkovich as Jeff Peters/Ulysses and Ann Magnuson as Frankie Stone. Other cast are Glenne Headly, Ben Masters, Laurie Metcalf, Polly Bergen, Harsh Nayyar, Hart Bochner, Susan Berman and Polly Draper. This film is primarily about the misadventures between an android and a woman.
Making Mr. Right (1987)
Directed by: Susan Seidelman
Starring: John Malkovich, Ann Magnuson, Glenne Headly, Ben Masters, Laurie Metcalf, Polly Bergen, Harsh Nayyar, Hart Bochner, Susan Berman, Polly Draper
Screenplay by: Floyd Byars, Laurie Frank
Production Design by: Barbara Ling
Cinematography by: Edward Lachman
Film Editing by: Andrew Mondshein
Costume Design by: Rudy Dillon, Adelle Lutz
Set Decoration by: Scott Jacobson, James Robinson
Art Direction by: Jack Blackman
Music by: Chaz Jankel
Distributed by: Orion Pictures
Release Date: April 3, 1987