Good On Paper is more a phrase these days, about how something can look good on paper (as an idea), but not in reality.
These days, in an online world, do you remember paper?
Anyhoo, on with this, and this film has a clean slate compared to most things I see these days, because I’ve never heard of anyone involved in it before. Well, maybe just Margaret Cho, but not director Kimmy Gatewood, nor the lead and writer, Iliza Shlesinger.
Plot-wise, Andrea (Shlesinger) plays a comedienne, which Iliza apparently is, so as she’s basically playing another version of herself, does that make this similar to The Big Sick? And since that was a great film, can this be the same?
In her life, she has a best friend, bar owner Margot (Cho), an acting nemesis, Serrena (Rebecca Rittenhouse), and in the middle of all this, she chances across Dennis (Ryan Hansen), who deals with hedge funds, so a world away from her career, and he becomes a good platonic friend, while she sleeps with himbos, but can they become more than friends?
You can tell where it’s going, though, and before too long, he comes across as quite demanding that he’s sure they’re great together. Basically, he’s like the American version of Mark Corrigan from Peep Show.
However, after Andrea meets a couple of his weird female roommates, the plot suddenly about-turns and revolves around whether Dennis is a genuine man or hiding a number of secrets, and whether he ever went to Yale etc, but he’s like a geeky Clark Kent without any possibility of turning into Superman. However, I couldn’t see what he might possibly have to hide.
In addition, Andrea’s long-running spat with Serrena isn’t particularly interesting. It was more interesting in that in one scene where they’re in a car together, 52 minutes in, they’re driving down the street and the background is blurred out. Maybe there was a company name which they forgot to CGI out so just blurred it? It’s clearly not a focus issue, but a definite blurring. Bit lazy.
In fact, at one point, Andrea says, “It’s like one of those dreams that’s really boring, but it keeps going on”. Hmm…
Is there an innocent explanation for all this? Not whether or not Dennis is real, but why this film even got made. Maybe the idea for this film seemed ‘Good on Paper’. Oh, the irony.
In seeing this soon after I saw the trailer, a number of the throwaway lines are just dropped into the script which were embiggened for the trailer… but weren’t that great to begin with.
As an aside, this film is periodically split up by Ms Shlesinger doing occasional stand-up comedy skits to explain the plot… and pad out the running time to just over 90 minutes.
Good On Paper is on Netflix from Wednesday June 23rd, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 92 minutes
Release date: June 23rd 2021
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Director: Kimmy Gatewood
Producers: David Bernon, Paul Bernon, Iliza Shlesinger, Sam Slater, Han West
Screenplay: Iliza Shlesinger
Music: Jonathan Sanford
Andrea: Iliza Shlesinger
Dennis: Ryan Hansen
Margot: Margaret Cho
Serrena: Rebecca Rittenhouse
Leslie: Beth Dover
Maggie: Kimia Behpoornia
Brett: Matt McGorry
Rhonda Steward: Rebekka Johnson
Alli: Rebecca Delgado Smith
Grace: Mav Viola
Chanterelle: Taylor Hill
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.