Sundance Review: Good Dick
by Alex Billington
January 26, 2008
Written, directed, and starring Marianna Palka, Good Dick is a bland romantic drama about video store clerk that is obsessed with one of his weird customers. I'm a fan of some very low budget indie filmmaking, including being involved in every aspects of the film, like Marianna was, but with Good Dick the result is a bland mess, with issues arising from the script and progressing into every other element of the film. Although, the more I think about it, the more the story's sweeter elements come to mind, but I can't forget that it was almost painful to watch.
In Good Dick, Jason Ritter stars as a struggling video store clerk at CineFile, an actual classic video store in Los Angeles next to the Landmark NuArt. Every day an odd woman (Palka) comes in to rent a new set of adult movies, and Jason is up front manning the register, even giving her tips on what to rent. In an entirely stalker-like move, he looks up her address and shows up at her apartment door. If that's not enough, he continues to knock on her door multiple times a day and sleeps at night in his car in the parking lot. To put a less freaky spin on the story, Good Dick is about one man's persistent attempts to win the heart of a troubled and lonely young woman.
The story, when looked at in the end, is actually a sweet romance, but it doesn't present itself that way throughout the movie. It feels quite disjointed and the script is a disaster. The lines that should play off of each other comically never got a laugh, and the snappy romantic lines never hit with the emotion that they should. I'm not sure whether it was Ritter or Palka's lackluster performances, or whether it was the dialogue, or whether it was the lack of experience that Palka has in direction, but nothing seemed to fall in place.
As much as I look back now and smile when I think of how cute Ritter's attempts to get with her were, I still can't get out of my mind the frown I had on my face while watching it. Good Dick is really a bland, emotionless, laughless film with little to redeem it. If you're really bored and in the mood for a sapless romance, then it might be worth it, otherwise, skip it.
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