Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Good on Paper (2021)

Streaming Services: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Good on Paper (2021)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length:  92 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Netflix
Director: Kimmy Gatewood
Writer: Iliza Shlesinger
Actors: Iliza Shlesinger, Margaret Cho, Ryan Hansen, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Britney Young, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Beth Dover, Kimia Behpoornia, Matt McGorry, Rebecca Delgado Smith, Rebekka Johnson, Taylor Marie Hill, Tess Paras, Tony Rodriguez
Blurb from IMDb:  After years of putting her career first, a stand-up comic meets a guy who seems perfect: smart, nice, successful and possibly too good to be true.

Cat’s Point of View:
We have reviewed a few of Iliza Shlesinger’s (Instant Family, Spenser Confidential, Pieces of a Woman) stand-up specials over the years. I’ve generally enjoyed them, as well as her roles in other various movies. When this film hit Netflix, I was intrigued from the outset by the idea that Good on Paper might be, at least partially, based on a true story.
While the names were changed, it was clear that Shlesinger was inhabiting her own shoes in this role rather than walking in someone else’s. This was her story, and as Good on Paper unfolded, I find myself less intrigued and more horrified by the fact that this is something that, at least in part, may have happened to her.
The premise of Good on Paper hits home for me. Unfortunately, I can’t exactly share a lot of details why because it would give away spoilers. What it boils down to is that we should always listen to our instincts as to when things seem too good to be true. Sometimes you luck out, and other times life kicks you in the face with a hard lesson.

Good on Paper also reminded me a lot of something my husband and I watched together a while back. I haven’t seen many productions utilizing the blend of stand-up routine interjecting into the narrative. So, of course, this brought Foolish (1999) to mind. I’d have to say that I laughed more, and found Foolish to be the funnier of the two films, but that’s neither here nor there. The story here was actually centered on comedy more than it was an actual comedic movie. Good on Paper had a huge dramatic vibe to it that somewhat dimmed the comedy aspect when things really got rolling. I still found parts highly amusing, though.
I do have to wonder, though, if the production team went out of their way to play up Ryan Hansen’s (Dog Days, Veronica Mars, Fantasy Island) slight resemblance to one of the leads of Revenge of the Nerds (1984), or if that was an accidental coincidence. I digress...

Be that as it may, I was excited to see Margaret Cho (Bright, Undateable John, Friendsgiving) involved with this production. I love her to pieces and she was in fine form here.
Good on Paper had some decent potential, though I’m not entirely sure it completely lived up to it. It was fine, when all was said and done. I can’t say that I’m going to remember it down the road, but it was solid and there aren’t any specific complaints I could give. If you like Shlesinger, and would find a humorous cautionary tale entertaining, maybe check it out.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 46%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 88%
Metascore – 50%
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.4/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5
Movie Trailer:

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