Monday, February 15, 2010

Julio DePietro's THE GOOD GUY opens; Bledel/Porter/Greenberg star

Can a movie with absolutely nothing new to show and tell still entertain us properly?  On the basis of Julio DePietro's THE GOOD GUY: Yes, it can.  Telling the oldest of old stories about a gal who must choose the right guy (between two who look awfully good), the movie perks along on maybe four cylinders (it is an independent film), with DePietro (shown pointing, below) handling hackneyed material as though it were fresh and new.  For the 90-minute running time, it is.

The Good Guy is an object lesson in how to take used material and come up with a small winner -- via swift, smart direction; clever, amusing, up-to-the-minute vernacular dialog; and a bevy of young performers who "get it" and are more than happy to give it back.  That this is Mr. DePietro's first film is shocking enough; that he does not go for the big stuff or the singular, never-seen-it-before moment is even better.  He seems happy to remain within the confines of romantic comedy, while serving up a sophisticated film for our still-new, Oh-Oh decade.

Perhaps it's DiPietro's familiarity with other areas of filmmaking that have helped bring him to this point:  He was executive producer of Disgrace (TrustMovies' choice for last year's best film) and Manda Bala (Send a Bullet: one of 2007's better documentaries).  Whatever -- he and his cast have pulled off something good.  Further, the filmmaker's choice of a generally-sleazy Wall Street and its crowd as his milieu is, shall we say, timely.

That cast, by the way, includes Alexis Bledel, shown at right, two photos up (of Gilmore Girls fame, who's made a bunch of interesting movies, beginning with the under-appreciated Tuck Everlasting and including I'm Reed Fish) as the heroine.  Competing for the title role are Bryan Greenberg (shown above, who was so good in Prime) and Scott Porter (shown at left, two photos up). In the strong supporting cast are Anna Chlumsky, Aaron Woo and Jessalyn Wanlim, and -- for the older generation -- Andrew McCarthy (below), Eric Thal and Trini Alvarado!

No need to oversell this little movie: one that is certainly worth seeing, particularly if you've an affinity for romantic comedy and any of those cast members.  Opening via Roadside Attractions, The Good Guy is -- surprisingly -- getting a better-than-average independent film release: opening on Friday, February 19, in New York City at four -- count 'em -- theaters, and four more in Los Angeles.  Chicago and Boston follow on March 5.  You can find cities, theaters and dates here.

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