RELEASED: 2008, Cert. R
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 86 mins
DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Marianna Palka
PRODUCERS: Jennifer Dubin, Cora Olson, Marianna Palka & Jason Ritter
MUSIC: Jared Nelson Smith
Marianna Palka as the Woman
Jason Ritter as the Man
Eric Edelstein as Eric
Martin Starr as Simon
Mark Webber as Derek
Tom Arnold as Woman's dad
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Billed as a comedy, Good Dick tells the story of a young man who works at a movie rental store. He becomes infatuated with a woman who visits the store regularly, always hiring out porn films.
The Man (who appears to be homeless and lives in his beaten-up old car) tries every trick in the book to get to know the Woman better, but she resists all his advances. The Man even resorts to stalking the Woman, eventually cooking up a tall sympathy-fishing story about his great aunt having died (by the way, we never learn the Man's and the Woman's names).
Eventually the Woman relents, albeit reluctantly, and allows him into her apartment.
From then onwards, the Man is treated very badly by the Woman. She won't allow him to touch her, is grossly rude and insulting to him, yet he claims to have fallen in love with her.
What is the Woman's problem? Why is she so unpleasant to the Man, and does he eventually manage to secure her affections?
The title of Good Dick does make one's mind boggle somewhat, and I naturally, as probably anybody else would, wondered what the content of the film might be....I wasn't far wrong, but the context of this title turned out to be a little different to what I thought.
Almost immediately, I felt intensely annoyed by all of the characters, including the Man's workmates at the movie hire shop. However, I decided to brave this film through to the end, for no other reason than I was curious to know why the Woman was being so unutterably tetchy and nasty.
Jason Ritter really ruffled my feathers, playing the part of the Man. I feel that the actor really ought to learn to relax, or visit an ear, nose & throat specialist as he punctuated his whole part with an almost incessant and infuriating barrage of throat-clearing and sniffing. This distracted me from a film that I was already having great difficulty in staying with, simply because the content isn't in the slightest bit amusing - well, it didn't appeal to my sense of humour - and the storyline is very weak together with the insipid characters.
I suppose I can grudgingly say that Marianna Palka played the part of the Woman reasonably well, but I couldn't warm to her character at all as she is thoroughly nasty to the Man, who despite him irritating me, comes across as a nice guy, albeit rather empty-headed.
The Woman seems to have a strange attitude towards sex, sort of like a love/hate relationship and I found this concept interesting, needing to know what lie underneath this conflict within her. I tried to concentrate on the conversations the Woman and the Man had with one another to see if I could pinpoint anything which might uncover some darker aspects in her emotional makeup, but nothing positive came to light....at least not initially, and even when such was hinted at, there was nothing definite for me to grab hold of.
Another source of frustration for me was that some of the dialogue is indistinct, so I consider it possible that I may have missed out on some important aspects of the Man and the Woman's conversations. As for the Man and what he and his work colleagues in the movie hire shop talked about, it was very superficial stuff....throwaway and decidedly boring.
Yet another deeply annoying aspect of Good Dick was the music, which mostly consists of a repeating, overly loud guitar instrumental piece, which does have a slight Dire Straits sound....except that Dire Straits do it infinitely better.
The only thing I can really say in Good Dick's favour, is a brief scene where the Woman visits her father, which I felt to be fairly well done....not brilliant, but passable.
Whilst watching Good Dick, I had the distinct feeling that it was aimed at a much younger audience than myself, as I just couldn't link into the general mindset of the characters and the way they relate to one another. The whole thing came across to me as being very shallow, but I guess that perhaps could have been due to the intention of it being a comedy, but there was no saving grace for me there either, as I simply didn't find any of it even the remotest bit funny.
This is the sort of film that I personally need to see approached from a completely different angle, and that is for it to be a serious drama which really delves deeply into the personalities of the main characters. As it stands, it is just exceedingly dull, irksome and something I would go to great lengths to avoid seeing again. If this is modern romance, then leave me out of it!
I have one final question, that being....why did it take so many people to produce a film where the overall content is so shallow?
At the time of writing, Good Dick can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £2.32 to £14.99
Used: from 1p to £14.99
Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~