Good Grief: Dan Levy’s Feature Film Has Realistic Take for Most Part

good grief

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Dan Levy, known not just as the son of the legendary comedic actor Eugene Levy but also for his Emmy-winning series Schitt’s Creek, has expanded his repertoire by taking on the roles of writer, director, and star in Netflix‘s latest dramedy, Good Grief. The project appears to be somewhat a labor of love for the filmmaker and actor.

The movie has a few redeeming qualities, and one of them is its visually appealing nature—like a photograph tucked away in a corner of a museum that not many people notice. In the opening scene at a Christmas party hosted by Marc (Levy) and his husband Oliver (Luke Evans), there’s a certain pleasure in this visual display, akin to the experience of window shopping. The London flat, owned by the stylish gay couple, exudes a sense of curated elegance with expensive possessions, albeit lacking in genuine taste. This phenomenon is real, drawing in freeloaders seeking free drinks and the inviting ambiance, including Marc’s two best friends, Sophie (Ruth Negga) and Thomas (Himesh Patel).

Good Grief Dan Levy

Levy, much like his father, is recognized for his comedic prowess. However, as the film unfolds and a tragedy occurs at the outset, the tone shifts to a more serious note for his character and the overall story. While there’s a subtle undercurrent of humor, the movie earnestly addresses both the gravity of the situation and the passing of the Evans character.

Despite Levy’s attempt to convey a deeper meaning, the movie fails to offer any novel insights. When Marc discovers Oliver’s secret apartment and younger boyfriend in Paris, he subtly suggests a group trip to the City of Lights with Sophie and Thomas, all funded by his late husband’s diminishing resources. While one might expect a thoughtful exploration of how grief, shock, and confusion can lead to impulsive decisions in the face of significant loss, this plot point falls short. Instead, the vacation becomes a mere pretext for Marc to wallow in his bundled-up grief, and for Levy to continue expressing his opinions.

Patel and Negga bring a positive dynamic as supportive friends in the movie. Their camaraderie feels authentic, and Levy made good choices in casting for these roles. However, both characters are somewhat one-dimensional, solely focused on uplifting Marc even when he repeatedly rejects their affection, which is a bit disappointing.

Ending Notes

Good Grief revolves around the story of a gay couple, with one of them passing away within the first five minutes. While the rest of the movie could easily become anticlimactic or clichéd, it doesn’t. Levy explores the situation about pain and grief adeptly, adding occasional flares of comedy despite his comedic background not being the focal point. The cast, featuring Hamish Patel and Ruth Negga, is strong, and David Bradley’s unexpected portrayal as Evans’ character’s father adds depth. Overall, it’s a decent film, though it doesn’t hit home.



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