Professional comedian Iliza Shlesinger is proving to be quite impressive for Netflix. After delivering a handful of robustious standup comedy specials, being in the spotlight for a hilarious sketch show, and starring in supporting roles in “Spenser Confidential” and “Pieces of a Woman,” she makes a comeback to Netflix, conquering as the leading character in her self-scripted movie “Good on Paper.”
Shlesinger stars as Andrea, a softly concealed version of herself in the earlier part of her career — before the Netflix specials, way before this Netflix movie — a brilliant stand-up comedian who can’t quite find success. She’s committed to her career, and while that has attained her some degree of fame and plenty of jokes around LA, Andrea would like to become an actor. That’s hampered by all sorts of barriers, though she mostly fixates on the success of Serrena (Rebecca Rittenhouse), who came to Tinsel Town at the same time as Andrea but has already managed to gain success way before her.
The storyline is grafted with moments from her standup, which to be honest aren’t as funny as they were supposed to be, but does deliver some of the film’s more sharp observations such as a little about how a person is told to feel grateful after a certain age for getting the least as if something bad is still better than nothing. Schlesinger has said in interviews that she was eager to enhance her character with a certain sense of devotedness that she typically feels is missing from female leads in comedies, who are screw-ups in a way that feels over-cooked and inferable. And that she does, neatly avoiding certain motto and gatherings, but we still don’t know her well enough, and very difficult to understand why she would fall for a person who is such a glimmering assemblage of vivid red flags. A lot of this is down to Hansen’s performance, which is excessively broad, as if he just walked from sets of a TBS show that was canceled in the 2000s, never compelling us that he can be someone who could attract anyone, but only a self-reliant, brilliant comedian.
Good on Paper can be an enjoyable, happy watch for a girl’s night. It can make you laugh, provide you several things to talk about, and experience that post-feminist movie happily ever after delight, but that’s it. Don’t get into it expecting more than that.
Final Score – [5.8/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)
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