DVD Review: Good Dick (2008)

30 Mar

By Michael De Martino

(Marianna Palka, 2008, USA, Drama/comedy, 82 minutes)

He works in a video store and lives in his car; she lives in an all-expenses paid apartment and regularly rents erotic films. He obsesses over her but she is repelled by men. Through persistence and strong desire, he (Jason Ritter) manages to break through her (Marianna Palka) barriers until a strange relationship forms. What proceeds is a totally observational experience of two damaged souls in an unconventional relationship.

The setup of Good Dick is rather clunky. Initially there is little explanation as to what makes her so strange and why he is so obsessed with her. Although this information becomes somewhat apparent later in the film it can be a little confusing having to accept these people as being the way they are. The overpowering film score gets distracting and several of the scenes in the first Act have rapid mood changes that almost make it feel as if a scene or two was left out.

When the relationship between the two main characters is formed, the film takes a comprehensive turn for the better – the relationship has space to develop. The functionality of their relationship is difficult to put into words. She appears to despise him, yet simultaneously cherishes his company. She tries to split them apart, but they work too well together.

Despite knowing little about them, Good Dick is able to portray strange, yet realistic characters, which are portrayed particularly well by Ritter and Palka. Information about the two main characters is kept minimal (we never even learn their names), but this is so the focus is on their relationship and not the characters as individuals, and, in a way, it enhanced the intimacy as we are not distracted by any unnecessary life stories.

As the film progresses, we become more and more attached to the characters and their relationship – to the point where we don’t want the film to end. We’re happy to continue observing these two abnormal beings. So why not give Good Dick a try?

7/10

Out now through Madman

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