The job of a narrator is to take you on a journey. As a viewer, you have to trust that what you’re being told on this journey is the truth. But what if it’s not? That’s the question that Julio DePietro’s “The Good Guy” tries to ask.
Our narrator, a Wall Street consultant named Tommy (Scott Porter, “Friday Night Lights”), begins the film standing in the pouring rain outside his girlfriend Beth’s (Alexis Bledel, “Gilmore Girls”) apartment building. We see the shadow of a man behind her, and Tommy tells us right away that he really thought she was different from the rest.
From there the film develops the concept of a soldier-turned-tech guy Daniel (Bryan Greenberg, “Bride Wars”) who Tommy has taken under his wing to train for Wall Street. Daniel meets Beth by happenstance at a bookstore, only to discover later that his perfect girl belongs to his best guy.
Where the film falls short is in its greater effort to trick us in regards to the narrator than really to thoroughly develop the story between Daniel and Beth. But this may also be where the movie gets its charm. As opposed to other romantic flicks that focus on happiness, this instead zooms in on the concepts of deceit and loneliness that lie beyond it.
DePietro, who also penned the script, pushes his agenda a little too hard, though, when he uses the guise of Beth’s book club to present a foil plot. The novel they read involves a seemingly nice soldier who befriends his pal’s wife and tries to steal her away. Of course we later discover that it is not the soldier who is a terrible person, but rather the husband/narrator. Hm, sounds familiar.
But despite these small pitfalls that are typical of an indie feature, the characters are surprisingly honest. Tommy’s coworkers are appropriately rude and obnoxious, but they’re strangely candid and relatable. Their bigwig boss, Cash (Andrew McCarthy, “Pretty in Pink”), is likely to be the biggest ass you’ve seen in theaters this year, but you can’t help but love his no-holds-barred crudeness.
Bledel does an adequate job of holding her own as the lead actress, and although it’s difficult to get past her 12-year-old face, it’s worth a try here. With a few good laughs and a new perspective, “The Good Guy” might just sweep you off your feet.