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Parents' Guide to

Good on Paper

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Amusing relationship comedy has lots of drinking, language.

Movie R 2021 92 minutes
Good on Paper Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (1 ):

Iliza Shlesinger and Margaret Cho make a very funny duo, and while this collaboration isn't great cinema, it's an amusing and well-paced hour and half of entertainment. The few laugh-out-loud scenes in Good on Paper involve the pair together -- an over-prepared stake-out and a misguided interrogation come to mind. The film flashes every now and then, Seinfeld-esque, to Shlesinger doing stand-up routines related to the movie's storyline, which we're told is "a mostly true story." These inserts could have fallen flat or pulled the viewer too far out of the action of the story, but since she's playing a stand-up comic and the routines are part of her character's story, it works.

In the film, the comedian's act revolves around questioning gender roles: Why when women do certain things are they judged so much more harshly than men? The inserts are funny especially in the context of the story being told. A final sequence involving a courtroom battle feels out of tone for the rest of the film. Ryan Hansen captures just the right mix of weird and harmless to make his character believable and only slightly creepy, keeping things from getting dark. Beyond the devious beau, it's a good bet that some of what Shlesinger's comic deals with in Good on Paper -- like a drunk "bro" telling her she's funny "for a girl" and the jealousies and struggles of forging a career in the entertainment industry -- are also "a mostly true story."

Movie Details

  • On DVD or streaming: June 23, 2021
  • Cast: Iliza Shlesinger , Ryan Hansen , Margaret Cho
  • Director: Kimmy Gatewood
  • Inclusion Information: Female directors, Female actors, Bisexual actors
  • Studio: Netflix
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Topics: Friendship
  • Run time: 92 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language throughout, sexual references, and brief drug use and nudity
  • Last updated: February 17, 2023

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