Release Date: February 19, 2010
Review Vital Stats:
Player: LG Model 370
Picture Quality: Standard Definition
Sound Quality: Standard 5.1 Surround
Loves: Alexis Bledel
Likes: Romance films, being pleasantly surprised
Hates: Films that insult my intelligence
The Good Guy is the ultimate nice guy fantasy film. Any guy that has ever been turned down by a woman because they were just being themselves instead of being the ultimate playboy will see right through the crap this film is trying to shovel our way. I didn't go into the film expecting to feel insulted by it but the circumstances in which everything goes down in it just really irritated me to no end. I'm sorry, but from personal experience a nice guy never gets the girl by being himself, being shy, and letting the woman make all the moves. That just doesn't happen in real life and we are expected to accept the fact that this is what happens here...complete and utter bullshit.
Now, I know it sounds like I am taking this film a little to personal but that is because...well before I get into spoilers here lets give a quick run down for you first shall we? We first meet Tommy Fielding (Scott Porter) one night as he stands outside his girlfriends(?) apartment building in the pouring rain. We have no context for why he is there, all we see is a man that appears to be heartbroken when he finds out that another man is with his girlfriend. She comes out and hands him some cash and says, "I feel sorry for you Tommy, I really do". Tommy begins his narration which we hear for the rest of the film and we follow him 6 weeks prior to find out what led up to that point.
|Tommy & Beth...the happy couple.|
Tommy likes the guy and sticks his neck out for him to get him a stand in job on his team when a spot opens up. We see Tommy go to the mat for Daniel with his boss to give the guy a chance and then he goes out of his way to have not only himself but his team be there for him during the early stages of the job. In the midst of all these good deeds that Tommy is doing we are also inter cutting back to Beth whom has just received a mixture of bad and good news from her work. The trip to Italy has been canceled, however there is a promotion waiting for her in San Francisco if she wants it. While she is happy to have the opportunity she holds off on it because she doesn't want to ruin things with Tommy. Tommy, being the "good guy" that he is takes Beth out for the night to help her forget about losing the trip to Italy and is as attentive as any good boyfriend should be.
|Tommy out for a night on the town with the very uncomfortable Daniel.|
This is where the classic love triangle kicks in, but if we already have a good indication on how this turns out what is the hook to keep us watching? Well, this is where we start to head into spoiler territory so if you have any intentions on seeing this and don't want the big twist given away then I suggest you stop reading now and skip ahead to the last paragraph. Usually, especially for romance films, the narrator is the main protagonist, the person that we are supposed to identify with and care about. And we do identify with him and care about him...at first. Here is the rub though, we find out that Tommy isn't the "good guy" after all, Daniel is.
|Daniel & Beth...the perfect couple?|
For instance, there is a scene that takes place in a night club/bar where Tommy has taken Daniel to find a date for their party. Daniel asks Tommy to demonstrate how to correctly approach a woman and with a slight bit of hesitation agrees to do it. Up to this point Tommy has been the perfect boyfriend to Beth and we figure the only reason he accepts this challenge is to help his new buddy Daniel out. Well, he talks to a woman and everything goes fine, until the next morning that is when we see the woman has spent the night at Tommy's place. Tommy's narration points out that the woman had been a little too tipsy to drive home and out of the kindness of his heart he let her stay the night. He decides not to tell Beth because he doesn't want to have her get upset over something that didn't happen.
|Beth talking on the phone with her new book buddy Daniel.|
Now, you may be confused at this point because I have been giving the film mild but consistent praises which is in stark contrast to my opening paragraph. That would be because I haven't talked at all about the budding relationship between Beth and Daniel. Where this film lost me is how easily these two individuals come together, which is a problem because the whole film rests on us believing these two are perfect for one another. I want to mention right away that none of my issues are with the actors themselves, Bryan Greenberg and Alexis Bledel actually make a really sweet couple and do what was expected of them, but whomever was responsible for the particulars on how they get together needs to be shot.
|Daniel is the type of guy that seems more at ease when he is around women.|
This is my main issue with this film because Daniel is ME, more or less (not the handsome part though I'm afraid). Every character trait of his is a trait of mine except maybe the reading part, but I completely bought into Daniel because of that. All through the film he was being instructed on how to be a playboy and how he should act like a slick ass when talking to the ladies. He fights that and remains true to himself which is all good and fine (another thing that I have had to deal with myself). I was waiting for him to win Beth over by being there for her and comforting her but no, that doesn't happen. What happens is Beth pursues him, is constantly checking in with him, wants to do things with him and all Daniel has to do is be himself and sit around waiting for her to make all the moves. I'm sorry but that isn't how it works in the real world as nice as it might sound.
|Beth begins to suspect something is a little off about Tommy.|
I truly wish I could buy into the idea of a beautiful, intelligent and charming woman realizing she is with the wrong guy (which also never happens) and then jumping straight into the arms of the man that deserves her love but I am a realist unfortunately and know that just doesn't happen. And yes, I do realize that most romantic films are fantasy and most of what happens in them is a wish fulfillment of some manner but there are ways of doing it without insulting my intelligence. I am probably the most die hard romantic I know and I love to get swept up in a good love story but I was just unable to do it here.
OK, I have never been this split on a recommendation before. On the one hand there is a lot to like here, all the actors are great in their roles (although what is up with Alexis Bledel?...between this and Post Grad she has now been involved with two of the star quarterbacks for the Dillion Panthers from the Friday Night Lights television show...strange). If you like romances you will definitely like it, although if you have read this far I have ruined most of the surprises for you, but this is a generally sweet film with a somewhat neat twist to it. So, if you aren't bothered by the "fantasy" of it all like I was by all means check it out but overall I would have to say...