Iliza Shlesinger brings her stand-up comedy for Good On Paper to the screen – a semi-autobiographical anti-love story.
Shlesinger’s comedy precedes it, with several Netflix specials showing a perfect blend of feminine empowerment and ridicule.
Although she may be married now, she kissed many frogs to find her prince. After such a story, she was turned into this film.
In Good On Paper, Shlesinger plays the role of Andrea Singer, a semi-famous stand-up comic that is also trying to break into the acting world.
After a blind audition, Andrea finds solace in Dennis (Ryan Hansen), the gentleman who sits next to her on an airplane.
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Their unlikely friendship soon extends beyond the business class seats as he begins to blend into their lives.
Not attracted by him in any way, Andrea first befriends the eager Dennis. Not her usual handsome boy, unreliable type. But one night they move into a bedroom, and from then on everyone considers them a couple.
But Dennis has more to offer than meets the eye, and Andrea soon begins to find strange clues that he is not who he claims to be.
With the help of her best friend (Margaret Cho), Andrea begins to dig for the truth.
Here you can see what Shlesinger is up to. Good On Paper dismantles the ideal of a “nice guy” and illuminates the self-claims associated with it.
But when you sign up for one of your rom-coms, you should think there should be some more laughs.
It has its moments, mostly with Andrea’s pals and friends who can’t help but passively-aggressively hit each other, even when they’re trying to be nice.
But ultimately, Shlesinger plays it a little too sure. Maybe she should have done a full comedy to really allow herself and her fellow cast members to shine.
Hansen and Shlesinger also have no chemistry, and little work has been done to figure out why they would be friends, let alone more. We are only told instead of shown.
It’s a similar mishap that Katherine Ryan got into with her sitcom The Duchess. Your stand-up story means it took some time to adjust to a “Show, Don’t Tell” practice.
Unlike The Duchess, Good On Paper doesn’t have a limited series time to get into it. As a result, all characters are missing a little meat on the bones.
Is Good On Paper worth it?
Good On Paper has a lot to offer, but falls into a classic cardinal sin of film funding: the trailer reveals too much.
In fact, it gives it away, and by the end of the credits it feels like a 90-minute stretch from what we already know.
The jokes are there, but the structure is clunky and the payout in the end just doesn’t hit the right note.
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While Shlesinger makes herself strong as the lead actress, the 2D supporting cast feels against her – and that includes her lead actor.
Ultimately, it makes a movie that is kind of blah.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
Good On Paper is now available on Netflix.
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