Good on Paper: A Mostly True Love Story

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger draws on her own experiences in Good on Paper and turns her catharsis into a comedic work of art.

Iliza Shlesinger not only stars in this film but she cleverly wrote the script, too. When it comes to comedy, there’s a way of bringing catharsis into work whether it’s on stage or in a script. On screen, she plays a role that’s not too far from who she is in a real life: a stand-up comedian. Where things stretch from the truth a bit is that Andrea Singer (Iliza Shlesinger) is still trying to get a break on TV or the movies. Singer may be a well-known comedian like Shlesinger but in terms of occupation, that’s where the differences end. I like what Iliza Schlesinger does with the role and would love to see more leading roles in the future.

When she’s not performing or trying to land a break in sitcoms or movies, dating isn’t a problem. However, love isn’t at the top of Singer’s list. Things change–for better or worse–when she meets hedge fund manager Dennis Kelly (Ryan Hansen). Dennis might be nerdy but he’s a down-to-earth normal dude or at least that’s the vibe he gives off. Dennis plays his charm with much success but Andrea’s best friend, Margot (Margaret Cho), doesn’t buy it for a second. Margot thinks there’s more there than meets the eye. Andrea may be reluctant to believe it but things start getting fishy the longer the two of them hang out. The questions start coming. Why does Dennis always have to sleep over at Andrea’s place? When will he take Andrea to his Beverly Hills house or meet his mom? The list goes on and on.

Good on Paper is billed as a mostly true story. I’m not sure exactly as to which parts of the film are true, false, or exaggerated. The idea of men lying just to date someone is an asshole move. I mean, really?!? You’re how old and have to lie like that?!? It’s enough to get me on a rant but if people could stop acting like terrible assholes to other people, that would be great. But I digress.

The film might be set in Los Angeles but it’s not one of those that takes you behind the scenes of the industry. I mean, there’s footage early on that could very well be documentary-type footage. We see Andrea go in for an audition and of course, there’s a table reading but that’s it. To no surprise, there’s the rival in the form of Serrena Halstead (Rebecca Rittenhouse), an actress that moved out to LA at the same time. Andrea is jealous of Serrena for what she’s been able to do while the comedian is still struggling to breakout on auditions. Landing the Space Cadet  role is a big deal. It’s not a film that goes behind the scenes of how Hollywood works. Good on Paper works more or less as an anti-romantic comedy mostly because Andrea Singer isn’t looking for or intending to fall in love.

DIRECTOR: Kimmy Gatewood
SCREENWRITER: Iliza Shlesinger
CAST: Iliza Shlesinger, Ryan Hansen, Margaret Cho, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Matt McGorry, Tyler Cameron, Taylor Hill

Netflix releases Good on Paper on June 23, 2021.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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