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film review

Ryan Hansen and Iliza Schlesinger in Good on Paper.Netflix

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  • Good on Paper
  • Directed by Kimmy Gatewood
  • Written by Iliza Shlesinger
  • Starring Iliza Shlesinger, Ryan Hansen and Margaret Cho
  • Classification R; 92 minutes

There are few horror stories as jarring as Good on Paper, the Netflix comedy starring and written by comic Iliza Shlesinger. A witty tale of deceit and betrayal, it’s an uncomfortable look at the values we tend to buy into and why.

After meeting a hedge funder named Dennis (Ryan Hansen) on a flight, Andrea (Shlesinger) begins using their blossoming relationship as a means of self-validation. He’s supportive and kind and she – largely unhappy with her stand-up career – feels less than. To Andrea, Dennis represents making the right choice. But to Dennis, Andrea represents something much different.

It’s a dark and sinister story, absolutely. (One based on Shlesinger’s real life.) And yet, despite the frustration that comes with any scene Dennis appears in, Good on Paper still manages to be a solid comedy thanks to masterful turns by its supporting cast, particularly Margaret Cho. And while the movie isn’t perfect (it’s a tough feat to take on issues of the patriarchy, sociopathy and “nice guy” syndrome in a 90-minute film), it’s still worth it to join Andrea on her journey. Even if it will make you question the intentions of any new person you meet. Especially if they went to Yale.

Good on Paper is available to stream on Netflix starting June 23

In the interest of consistency across all critics’ reviews, The Globe has eliminated its star-rating system in film and theatre to align with coverage of music, books, visual arts and dance. Instead, works of excellence will be noted with a Critic’s Pick designation across all coverage.

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