Good Dick is a refreshingly original rom-com that successfully reinvents the genre. The film follows an introverted, nameless woman (Marianna Palka) who has a propensity for renting soft-core pornography. She catches the eye of a young video store clerk (Jason Ritter), who immediately takes a liking to her mysterious persona and, of course, her taste for lurid films.
The film offers a strong supporting cast, including the upcoming Martin Starr (Party Down, Adventureland). After several attempts to engage her in conversation, the store clerk eventually weasels his way into her life. They form a bond through their mutual fascination with pornographic films. What follows is an eloquent and melodramatic journey of human discovery. The woman, seemingly irreparably damaged by her past, is unable to leave her home. The store clerk begins to devote all of his energy to coaxing her out of the house. They begin what can only be described as the anti-relationship: a verbally abusive, sexually awkward train wreck that maintains it’s hilarity, while keeping the viewers completely engrossed in their dynamic. What feels at first to be an irreverent attempt at what is arguably the most unoriginal genre in cinema becomes a fantastic love story that you actually want to succeed instead of crash and burn.
Palka writes, directs and stars in this indie fable. Before Good Dick flooded and consumed the collective consciousness of festival attendees, Palka was a complete unknown, having only appeared in small roles on several forgettable television programs. With Good Dick, Palka not only proves she’s a writer/director to be reckoned with, but also her ability to take on and ultimately succeed in a role that most actresses in Hollywood would cower away from in fear. Ritter also makes a name for himself in this film. Having previously only been involved in television and several small supporting roles in ridiculous films such as SwimFan, Ritter is definitely a young comedic actor to watch out for in the future. What impresses me most about the young man’s performance is that he is not only consistently funny in the film, but also able to take on the dark subject matter which provides a few sobering moments.
The first question I would like to pose is: Does the horrible title destroy the movie’s mass appeal?
Secondly: Do you feel that this movie is a necessary evolution for the Romantic Comedy genre?