When we first started this website it was because I wanted to put a spotlight on the movies I loved, change a public view or get ten more people to watch an unknown movie. Now at Lost in Reviews we do tend to focus on the main stream and that’s fine, but that’s not the main goal of the site. If you read our about page and then ventured on to the site it doesn’t seem like the two line up, but if we started out talking about all of the unknown films from the start no one would be reading. So, I hope that I have earned a little bit of your trust and I can start sharing the things I love with this weekly column.
This week I have one of my favorite movies Good Dick; written and Directed by, and starring Marianna Palka, a total unknown. Along side Palka we have Jason Ritter, most of you know Jason’s father John Ritter, but Jason is quickly moving up the acting ladder and is fantastic in this role. Ritter’s nameless character becomes infatuated with a girl that rents porn from the video store he works in. This infatuation leads to what most would call stalking after he takes her address from the store’s records. Unlike most stalker’s tales this movie ends in a relationship rather than a murder, but not the kind of relationship we see in the usual Hollywood fair. This story is more about two people with an overwhelming amount of problems that come up with each other as the solution.
When I first saw the trailer for Good Dick I was immediately intrigued by the concept of two fucked up people falling in love. These are my kind of love stories, I mean come on who doesn’t love 2002’s Secretary? Sadly, the trailer wouldn’t be the reason I found this film. As it would turn out the movie was a Sundance film and the chances of it seeing the light of day any where near me was a long shot, so the film just turned into a name on a list of movies that I wanted to see. That was until Good Dick’s surprising DVD release but by then I had already forgotten this little indie film and it’s trailer and was once again caught up by it’s name. How do you not give a movie called Good Dick a second look?
An eye-catching name isn’t what makes this movie special though. It’s the heart and comedic awkwardness of it all that had me telling people that they should find some Good Dick. It’s the film’s sideways approach to the story of love that makes it so special. Palka turns all the rules on their side, painting the bright and sunny LA as gray, gloomy and drab. She creates something that has so much feeling that it’s hard not to believe the it’s not mildly based in reality. Though Palka does make some first time mistakes the over all feeling of the movie overcomes her inexperience.
Though Good Dick is one of my favorite love stories it does play out like a romantic horror story. I’m not talking about situations like Jimmy slept with Jane’s sister and on their wedding day the whole family finds out. No I’m talking about a pair of lovers that could chop each other’s heads off and add the finger nails to their collection-romantic horror. Though that’s as far from the over all outcome as you can be, the social awkwardness shared by both characters can be as easily cringing to watch. This story shows that it’s not just Julia Roberts that falls in love, the seriously deranged can have romance too.
None of this would have worked with out the acting talents of both Palka and Ritter. They both bring so much truth to their roles that you can’t help but to feel some kind of closeness to their characters. Ritter’s awkward depiction blurs the lines of fact or fiction creating a frighteningly truthful character. Another stand out in this movie was Tom Arnold who plays Anna’s overly-affectionate father. Arnold holds nothing back and shows when put to the test he may actually have some acting ability. It’s not Ritter or Arnold that steal the show but Palka’s depiction of the tortured Anna that leaves you wondering how close to the actual character she is. Her entire body is engulfed by the character helping to add to the overall film’s tone.
Good Dick‘s ability to take another look at love is what makes it one of my favorite movies. Though it’s not for everyone, those of us that are a bit twisted will find the comedy in it’s tragedy and love in it’s grip on reality. Throw it in your Netflix que and hopefully the film finds you as it did me and encourages you to look for other smaller titles.
If you have any movie suggestions for “Lost In Found” please email them to Ryan[at]lostinreviews.com
by Ryan Davis