Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Good On Paper Review: A Funny and Insightful Female-Led Rom Com

Release date: June 23, 2021
Running time: 95 minutes
Directed By: Kimmy Gatewood
Written By: Iliza Shlesinger
Starring: Iliza Shlesinger, Ryan Hansen, Margaret Cho, and Rebecca Rittenhouse.

Based on a mostly true story, Andrea Singer always put her stand-up career first, and while dating came easy, love wasn't a priority... that is until she meets Dennis, a quirky nerd with disarming charm who coaxes her into letting her guard down. Her best friend Margot isn’t convinced he’s all he seems and she urges Andrea to embark on a wild goose chase to uncover who Dennis really is. 

Good On Paper is coy about whether or not it is based on a true story, but the film definitley feels like a personal odyssey for Shlesinger.  The movie is infused with her humor but also plenty of her blood and sweat.  The story she tells is personal, made all the more so because she wrote and starred in it.  But it is not just the drama that she brings to this story, this is an Iliza Shlesinger joint after all.  She brings plenty of comedy with her trademark no holds barred humor that is equal parts raw and realistic.  Her observations on dating, relationships, and dealing with life are both fun and insightful.  And the film is helped by the main costar, the very funny Margaret Cho.  I really enjoyed seeing their dynamic and the way that they played off each other.

Good On Paper feels like a personal story and that leads to plenty of interesting discussions about dating and success.  Singer is insecure but also seems to have a lot going on.  It has a nice look into perspective and life; to some people you might be the epitome of success, even if you don't see it yourself.  And the humor is very modern; with plenty of insight into the female experience.  I really liked how the movie had splices of Singer / Shlesinger comedy (and I'm just now noticing that Singer is just a shortened version of Iliza's last name).  If this is a true story, then this also lets you see how it effected and infected her own work.  

Now Good On Paper does go into the absurd towards the end, and some of the lies that are told just feel a little ridiculous at the time.  I found it hard to believe that she ignored some of these red flags, but what rom com would be complete without a little bit of obliviousness.  And people do a lot and overlook flaws when they are reaching for that  happy life so maybe it's not so difficult to imagine.  And even in all of this absurdity, the film stays true to the overall funny core.  The lies are humorous and often lead to some of the insane situations that make this film enjoyable.  Despite telling a heartfelt story, Shlesinger is always an entertainer and the film keeps with that.

Good On Paper is a modern, insightful, hilarious, and very personal journey for Shlesinger that helps to highlight the female perspective on success and love.  

Watch it.

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Good On Paper is available on Netflix on June 23, 2021.

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