Good on Paper Netflix Movie Review

Is the new Netflix movie Good on Paper,
a romance, a rom-com or maybe a dramedy?
After years of putting her
career ahead of love,
stand-up comic Andrea Singer has stumbled
upon the perfect guy. On paper,
he checks all the boxes,
but is he everything he appears to be?
I’m not typically a fan
of Iliza Shlesinger,
but there were moments in this
that I did find her endearing.
The beginning of the movie, even while
it was a bit
emotionally chaotic with her,
allowed me to see a softer side to her.
Now it’s still mixed with
some harsher moments also.
So she’s not all soft
and cuddly the entire time.
And some of the setup of this movie
reminded me of The Big Sick
where we have a stand-up comedian
narrating part of their life
as we watch more just play out.
And it’s interspersed
with some stand-up moments.
There’s a low level discomfort in this
that is almost there from the start.
It’s not necessarily awkward,
but there is something about Dennis
that just feels off.
Ryan Hansen does a convincing job
at creating this character
that feels to be pretty

transparent to us
as the audience,
but somebody who
Andrea can’t see through.
I felt there was an ongoing tension
through almost the entire movie
where we watch Dennis
act in sketchy ways.
But he’s also charismatic in a sense.
So we don’t want to believe
what our instincts are really telling us.
And this also puts us
right in the seat with Andrea
because she’s doing the exact same thing.
There’s a sweetness to this movie,
but also a disturbing sickness as well.
There appears to be manipulation
going on by Dennis to Andrea.
And then we watch Andrea struggle
with just all of the messages
that she receives from the world
that she should just be grateful
to have a man that likes her.
She questions
if she’s good enough or even worthy.
But what’s interesting to me is as these
issues are being raised,
Andrea’s stand-up
routines are also calling this out
and showing how unhealthy it is.
Now, we’re watching the story play out
and we get the insight of experience
through Andrea’s routine.
She’s talking to the
audience after the fact.
And so she’s sharing what she’s learned
with just some punchlines attached.
And I like the mix of the story
and the stand-up.
It’s as if we’re getting
a possible insight into Shlesinger’s
real life relationships.
Now, the story of the movie
progresses in a natural way.
And even though
some of the time references
may be a bit vague, we get the sense
the friendship between Andrea and Dennis
has been growing for many months.
The story uses some montages
pretty well with voiceover
so it just helps to move through
the sequences efficiently.
But it still lets us see important
milestones in the friendship.
Margaret Cho and Rebecca
Rittenhouse, costar in this,
and they each bring sweetly annoying
comedy to the screen.
They’re both abrasive at points,
but then also bring charm.
So they’re not characters
that we solely love or hate
every single time that they’re on screen.
Overall, I’d lean more towards
liking them than not.
And I’m not sure if this is meant
to be a cautionary tale
or maybe just one long
setup for a joke in Andrea’s
stand-up routine, but
it does act as both.
There are funny moments in this
and there’s a romantic element,
but it’s a very dysfunctional,
romantic element.
And while this never dives
headlong into the drama genre,
there are moments
that break it out of the comedy arena.
Now, for me, some of the largest
tension of this movie
is the discomfort I felt through
just about all of it.
It felt like I was watching
that speech scene in Bridesmaids,
where Kristen Wiig keeps
getting up to continue her toast.
It’s just super uncomfortable.
And it just that left me feeling
just a squirming,
you know, a very just [ugh].
While this didn’t
leave me feeling that way exactly,
there was a melancholic sentiment
that hovered over everything.
And even in the end,
I wasn’t really happy
or laughing out loud.
And this isn’t to say
that I didn’t laugh
through the melancholy
because I certainly did.
I just think that the semi-sadness
that permeated the movie
mixed with that feeling that just
everything in the story was
way too obvious.
It left me unsatisfied.
And that feeling that everything is
obvious was kind of a bummer
because I kept hoping for
some kind of clever twist
that’s going to upend my suppositions
and catch me off guard.
And that would then in turn reveal
something new or unique about the story.
What we get, though, is a semi-depressing
view on relationships.
The characters are good and engaging
and the conflict is certainly present
and even the potential for subverting
expectations does exist.
All of these combined
can make a fun movie
and they’re all present in Good on Paper.
But at the end of it,
I just wasn’t caught up in a story
that was memorable.
I had an uncomfortable
and humorous time watching
and was surprised at the extent
that I enjoyed Iliza Shlesinger.
But this isn’t something that
I’m going to be revisiting.
For me, this was just an OK way
to spend ninety-two minutes.
It wasn’t spectacular,
but it also wasn’t terrible.
There’s no sex or nudity,
a ton of profanity and some violence.
I give good on paper,
three out of five couches.
Have you ever been
on a really terrible date?
Do you want to share what made it bad
in the comments?
Maybe it can be a cautionary tale
or just comedic fodder
for the rest of us.
That’s only if you want to share.
If you enjoyed this review,
please give it a like.
Also, don’t forget
to share and subscribe.
I’m Chris.
This is Movies and Munchies.
Thanks for couching with me.

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