Good Dick

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner2/10/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Delightfully offbeat indie romcom with impressive direction, strong performances and a superbly written script that's by turns creepy, funny, weird and ultimately moving.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Marianna Palka (who looks like she could be Sigourney Weaver's daughter), Good Dick stars Jason (son of John) Ritter as an unnamed video store clerk in Santa Monica who becomes obsessed with an attractive customer (Palka) who rents erotica (not to be confused with hardcore porn) every day. Ritter's not quite your usual obsessive though: first he follows her home, then he pretends his aunt lives in the building and has recently died, and then he ends up moving into her apartment, even though she doesn't really like him all that much.

The Good
To give much else away would spoil the pleasures of the sheer weirdness of this film. Suffice it to say that it's the total opposite of any romcom you've ever seen: everything takes place in the wrong order; characters say one thing and do the opposite; sexually charged scenes unfold in completely unexpected ways and so on.

Ritter and Palka are terrific together, even if it takes you a while to work out just how much of a nutter Ritter is at the beginning. There are also strange little cameos from the likes of Charles Durning and Bryce Dallas Howard, while there's strong support from Eric Edelstein, Martin Starr (from Knocked Up) and Mark Weber as Ritter's colleagues.

The Great
What really sets the film apart is a script that credits the audience with enough intelligence to fill in the gaps – we gradually realise that both characters are recovering from some pretty traumatic backstory but we're never actually given the details. So there are no tearful revelation scenes and the audience has to work hard to find the characters likeable (Palka is weird and distant, Ritter is extremely annoying) but the emotional payoff is much greater as a result.

Worth seeing?
In short, Good Dick is a wonderfully written, brilliantly acted and frequently weird romcom that's quite unlike anything else you'll see this year. Highly recommended.

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Good Dick
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Content updated: 19/11/2019 17:43

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