While on the flight back home from an audition, stand-up comedian Andrea (Iliza Shlesinger) meets Dennis (Ryan Hansen), a man who seemed perfect for her. As their relationship grows, Dennis doesn’t appear to be as good as Andrea first thought.
Review I’ve been on a bit of an Iliza Shlesinger binge lately, so when I found out she wrote and starred in a movie based on one of her real life experiences, I knew I had to watch it right away. Good On Paper follows similar story beats as typical romantic comedy and may at first seem like typical fare for the genre, but as the movie progresses, you realize it finds its own voice, which feels refreshing and allows it to stand out among other romantic comedies. On top of that, Shlesinger brings a warm and authentic atmosphere to the story. Her timing from her stand-up routines translates well to film, generating tons of laughs throughout the entire run time. Supporting actors Ryan Hansen and Margaret Cho also deserve heaps of praise. Cho’s delivery and timing is on par with Shlesinger’s and together they are a powerful comedic duo.
I thought Good On Paper was GOOD 🙂 The story was enjoyable and the cast was even better. I don’t know how I missed this last year but I’m glad I finally got around to watching it.
Before I get to the review, I just want to remind you that there is still a little bit of time left in the submission period for the Ultimate 2010s Blogathon, which is open until February 9th, 2020. If you would like to participate in the blogathon, all the details can be found in this announcement post.
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Okay, now on to the review!
Synopsis After Cal’s (Steve Carell) wife Emily (Julianne Moore) tells him she wants a divorce, he begins hanging out at bars, where he meets Jacob (Ryan Gosling). With Jacob’s help, Cal reinvents himself and learns Jacob’s tricks to picking up women.
Review Many romantic comedies follow a similar and predicable story. Crazy, Stupid, Love, even with everything it does well, does not escape from this trapping. However, it is able brings a genuineness not often found in similar movies. The first reason for this is the star-studded cast, which consists of Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marissa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon. What makes this film work so well is the chemistry between all the cast members. With pairings like Carell and Gosling, Gosling and Stone, and Carell and Moore, and even Carell and Jonah Bobo, who plays Carell’s son, every scene is funny, sweet, and filled with so much heart that it’s not hard to enjoy it. Marisa Tomei is only in a handful of scenes but she steals every one. With a cast like this, there is no one stand-out performance; they are all wonderful.
With so many characters, there are several story lines happening at once. When they all come together about two-thirds through the movie, hilarity ensues, resulting in one of the best scenes of the film. The script, written by Dan Fogelman, is the second reason this movie shines. It manages to balance every character and memorable moment well. Even though the cast of characters is fairly large, especially for a movie like this, no one ever feels like they are overpowering the others. There is a clear focus on Cal, Jacob, and Emily, but the supporting cast get plenty of their own stand-out moments as well. Also, the script doesn’t sacrificing character development for one-liners. a pitfall common in comedies. Instead, the script accentuates the talents of the cast, letting comedic moments flow naturally, allowing character moments and humorous moments stand side-by-side without feeling jarring or unnatural.
I thought Crazy, Stupid, Love was GOOD 🙂 Like many romantic comedies, it is predicable. But what it lacks in individualism, it makes up for with heart, an enduring cast, and a well-balanced script that expertly manages the film’s many relatable characters and great moments. This film is an example of when all the right pieces come together just right and at the right time, creating something worthwhile in the process.
Jacob: Are you Steve Jobs?
Jacob: Hold on a second. Are you the billionaire owner of Apple Computers?
Jacob: Oh, okay. Well in that case you got no right to wear New Balance sneakers ever.
Cast & Crew Glen Ficarra – Director
John Requa – Director
Dan Fogelman – Writer
Christophe Beck – Composer
Nick Urata – Composer
Steve Carell – Cal
Ryan Gosling – Jacob
Julianne Moore – Emily
Emma Stone – Hannah
Analeigh Tipton – Jessica
Jonah Bobo – Robbie
Joey King – Molly
Marisa Tomei – Kate
John Carroll Lynch – Bernie
Beth Littleford – Claire
Kevin Bacon – David
Liza Lapira – Liz
Josh Groban – Richard