Good on Paper (2021) | Discussion, Recommendations and Spoilers | Film Review
Good on Paper (2021) is a romantic-comedy film directed by Kimmy Gatefield and written by Iliza Schleslinger. The film stars Iliza Scheslinger, Ryan Hansen, Margaret Cho and Rebecca Rittenhouse. It was released on Netflix on June 23, 2021.
The film begins from the perspective of Andrea Singer (Iliza Scheslinger), a stand-up comedian who is trying to break into acting. She is auditioning for a role, but does not get it due to her argumentative nature. On her journey home, she is waiting in the airport for her plane and sits in the waiting area. She talks on the phone with her best friend, Margot (Margaret Cho) and is approached by a man who tells her she dropped her boarding ticket. She thanks him and doesn't talk to him even though it seems like he'd like to start a conversation with her.
After boarding the plane, Andrea finds her seat and looks up to see the man who gave her her dropped boarding ticket. He introduces himself as Dennis Kelley (Ryan Hansen) and tells Andrea that he is a Yale graduate and works in hedge funds. Andrea isn't attracted to Dennis, but she finds him pleasant to be around and begins a friendship with him.
Andrea begins to spend more and more time with Dennis and even though she likes being around him, there are a few things that start to bother her about him. Andrea finds that Dennis drinks an excessive amount of alcohol, leading her to wonder whether or not he is an alcoholic. She is not physically attracted to Dennis, as she finds men who are more physically fit attractive. His is also kind of nerdy looking, with glasses and an overbite and Andrea likes men who are stereotypically handsome.
Andrea starts to feel sorry for Dennis and one night after they get drunk together and take some drugs, Andrea sleeps with Dennis and they begin a relationship. At first, the relationship seems like it is going well and Andrea is very happy with Dennis. She questions why she didn't want to date him initially and dismisses her reasons for not wanting to date Dennis in the first place.
However, the longer Andrea dates Dennis, the more concerns she starts to have about his ability to tell the truth and how much of his life is a lie. The rest of the film follows Andrea as she finds out if Dennis is the real thing or if his world is a meticulously crafted lie.
If You Like This Film, You May Also Like:
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Shattered Glass (2003)
Just One of the Guys (1985)
License to Drive (1988)
*Discussion contains spoilers
I liked this film because it was funny and relatable. Who hasn't met someone who exaggerated or straight up lied about their credentials or life in general? Isn't that what social media is really about anyway? Pretending things are better than they really are?
I really felt for Iliza Scheslinger because this actually happened to her (not all of it, some parts were made up, but a lot of it did happen to her). I've met people who lied to me about their credentials and parts of their life and I really can't stand fake people and liars, so I was all about her outing him during the film.
When I first started watching the film, I was highly suspicious of Dennis because it was like he couldn't wait to tell Andrea he went to Yale. There was really no reason to bring it up and he looked at her face to see if it impressed her.
I find that truly successful and confident people don't need to brag about their accomplishments. They know what they've accomplished, are happy with themselves and don't need accolades from others to feel good about themselves. My bullshit alarm was going off and I was like, bullshiiiiit you went to Yale. I would've asked him what year he graduated and what his degree was in. Then I would've looked him up. Then I'd turn to him and say, "The jig is up buddy, go sell a bridge to someone else".
At other points in the film, Andrea discovers Dennis doesn't really have his own house and he, in fact, lives with two roommates who tell Andrea he has a sad little room, works at a bank as an assistant manager and basically is broke. She also finds out he never went to Yale (no shit), his mom doesn't have cancer and he made his entire life up to impress her. He even upgraded his plane ticket to first class at an insane price just to be able to sit next to her.
Towards the end of the film, Andrea and her best friend get Dennis drunk in order to get him to pass out so they can restrain him and get him to confess all of his lies. However, when trying to get him into a room, they accidentally hurt him by closing the door on his torso, causing him a significant injury. He wakes up and eventually confesses, then leaves. However, Andrea soon finds out that Dennis has plans for revenge and she is sued by Dennis for the injury she caused.
Of course, Dennis lies about his injury and tells the court that he is much more injured than he really is. Andrea is appalled at Dennis' audacity, but she is even more appalled at herself because she felt that she should have trusted her instincts and not tried to convince herself to date someone she wasn't interested in.
After the trial is over, Andrea puts Dennis' picture on a large billboard that basically tells the city of Los Angeles that Dennis is a liar and no one should date him (she's right, they really shouldn't).
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