Good Dick will not be a film that will appeal to everyone, however, it deserves to be seen as it offers a refreshing if, slightly obscure, look at relationships, love and sexual dysfunction.

Going into this I was expecting to see a full-blown comedy given the film's unique title, it is funny - hysterical at times - but this is no gross-out American Pie.

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Good Dick is for romantics who like their movies sprinkled with something a little different. This comes in the form of its problematic protagonists - a porn-obsessed, shy loner (Marianna Palka) who finds love with a frustrated video store worker (Jason Ritter).

First-time writer/director Palka delivers a very original piece of film-making, although at times it is hard to warm to either character, thanks to the girl's cruel streak and the boy's stalker tendencies.

They first meet in the video store where Ritter works, down-on his luck he finds himself drawn to the girl who loves to rent trashy porn. She finds it hard to connect with anyone and wishes to be left alone. It's only through Ritter's persistency that they start to build a strange bond over their mutual love for porn. Most of the movie's charm lies in this courtship; the pair are one of the most fascinating on-screen couples to be committed to celluloid in quite some time.

Watching their on-screen chemistry unravel is deeply heartbreaking, at times she succumbs slightly to his advances but when she feels he is getting too close she shuts down any advances and asks him to disappear and never come back.

Jason Ritter delivers a star-making turn as the male lead; you really do feel for him and believe he really cares for the girl especially when he's under duress. There is nothing more important to him than making a connection with her no matter what; even when the predictable end arrives it still hits you hard and in the right place.

As a writer, director and star Palka is clearly a talent to look out for in the future. As an actress she is accomplished but I wonder what she would be like in roles that are not self-directed.

A perfect festival film made with independent sensibilities, Good Dick will suited an open-minded audience - it is slightly odd but the viewing experience is all the better for it.

From this evidence I guess the phrase “treat them mean to keep them keen” does work after all.

Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2008
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Good Dick packshot
Offbeat romance between a damaged young woman and with Marianna Palka and Jason Ritter.
Amazon link

Read more Good Dick reviews:

Amber Wilkinson ****
Chris **1/2

Director: Marianna Palka

Starring: Marianna Palka, Jason Ritter, Eric Edelstein, Mark Webber, Martin Starr, Charles Durning, Tom Arnold, Jesse Garcia, Katherine Waterston, Elisabeth Waterston

Year: 2008

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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