Good on Paper: Too Good to be True Usually Is – Netflix Review

Iliza Shlesinger brings us the story of a man who is less than he seems.

You know those movies where the girl meets the guy who appears perfect, but ultimately ends up being a serial killer or something horrible like that? If not, they’re most of Lifetime’s lineup, so just watch something there and you’ll probably get the idea. Well, this is that movie except… the guy’s just kind of a douche. The movie uses clips of Shlesinger’s character doing stand-up throughout to relay stories that make it clear that not only is this a thing that happens, it’s been happening for generations. 

In film and out, she’s usually pretty blunt about creeps.

The story is about comedian and aspiring actress Andrea (Iliza Shlesinger), who is 34 and her career is stalling. Naturally, she’s also being shown up by the perky and younger, but nowhere near as funny, Serrena (Rebecca Rittenhouse). Andrea’s closest friend, Margot (Margaret Cho), is a big believer in tough love and brutal honesty, both of which tend to keep Andrea’s hopes in the gutter. On a flight back from an audition, Andrea meets Dennis (Ryan Hansen), a Yale-educated hedge fund manager who is buying a house in Beverly Hills and dating a supermodel. The two hit it off and become friends. Dennis seems naturally very nice, well-educated, funny, and he’s frequently willing to help Andrea with her career. Eventually, he breaks up with his girlfriend and asks Andrea out. She ends up agreeing to go out with him, even though he’s not traditionally her type, because he seems like the perfect guy on paper.

Yes, he looks like a hedge fund manager.

However, after a bit, cracks start to appear in his story, ranging from his “house in Beverly Hills” being an apartment with two hilarious roommates, Maggie and Chanterelle (Kimia Behpoornia and Taylor Hill), to his supposedly excellent Collegiate golfing skills being apparently completely lacking. Unfortunately, despite Margot and literally everyone telling her not to, Andrea just keeps giving the guy the benefit of the doubt and believing all of his cover-ups, eventually to her own detriment. Throughout the entire thing Andrea continues to give an audience hints about how badly this may end up in the future, but even they probably can’t predict the ending of the story.

At least the sex was… existent.

I tend to think that Iliza Shlesinger is funny and, given that she not only wrote this film, but based it on an actual relationship she had, a lot of the film’s situations and humor come off more naturally than you would expect in something with this kind of premise. Unfortunately, when the situation starts to escalate at the end beyond where it apparently did in real life, it starts to unravel. It’s not just that it’s full of obvious holes, it’s that it just isn’t that funny or cathartic. It’s supposed to provide a grand platform to resolve the whole thing dramatically, but, unfortunately, it really just didn’t work. 

Some funny scenes, to be sure.

Overall, it’s not a bad movie, it just falls apart at points. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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