Good Dick

Marianna Palka in Good Dick

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Films about getting over childhood trauma tend to have an air of melancholy about them, and thankfully this film is no different. It’s not really a situation that lends itself to comedy that well.

Neither of the main characters have names, but the female (played by the writer and director Marianna Palka) is a convincing character. I’m not sure if  she is accurate in her behaviour, but it certainly comes across as authentic. It is a shame then that her performance is let down by the male.

He’s played well enough by Jason Ritter (you know, the guy from The Event/Parenthood), but unfortunately he is let down by a script that makes his character come across as a hardcore stalker. Full on creeposaurus.

It really sets up his character as an odd one. He works in a video store, and seems to think that it is OK to get her address from the computer, then sneak his way into her complex at night to spy on her through her window. Sleeping in his car outside her building so the next morning he can ‘bump’ into her, he finally goes the whole whoopdazzle and lies his way into her flat.

At no point does anyone justify this, and it comes across as really creepy. There is a brief mention of past drug use, but I’m not convinced that even a recovered drug addict would think ‘yeah, lying my way into a flat of a girl I only know through video rental choices is perfectly normal’.

I imagine that you’re meant to find his enthusiasm to woo her endearing, but if someone who had been sleeping in their car for days claimed that a relative had died to get into my flat, the address of which they stole from my store account; I would be more than a bit worried.

By the end of the film he has redeemed himself slightly, but this strange behaviour stuck with me throughout.

The title doesn’t have much to do with the film, as far as I’m aware no-one is called Richard. I suppose it could be about the penis measuring scene, but I’m not sure the outcome of that justifies a good.

If you ignore some of the stranger behaviour of the male character, this film does turn out well. For the first half hour however, it’s best to ignore the fact he’s acting cuckoo.