Love is a battlefield

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Good Dick isn't the best title for a romantic comedy, but from a certain perspective it's a pretty apt description of both halves of the central couple. Left unnamed, writer-director-star Marianna Palka's painfully reserved, porn-dependent recluse and Jason Ritter's video store clerk both do some not-so-nice things, but malice has little or nothing to do with it.

Granted, he does the unthinkable by striking up a conversation about her choice of erotica rentals, then stealing her address and making up a sob story to get into to her apartment, but the first thing he does is clean up. She treats him like dirt as he patiently worms his way into her solitary life, but she doesn't throw him out - good thing, as he's been sleeping in his car - and clearly some past ugliness is driving her.

As they're slowly exposed, moments arise when you have to wonder why he puts up with her. But the performances are heartfelt, especially Ritter's, the humor can catch you off guard, and the prickliness between the couple aligns interestingly with the Apatow-reminiscent ribbing between his male coworkers at the video store.

In a genre overtaken by meet-cute and sugary pop, a movie about a truly unusual courtship between a couple that, if they met cute, would kick its teeth out, is an unexpected pleasure.

"Good Dick"

Opens Friday at Landmark's Gateway Theater

B

"Good Dick" costars Jason Ritter, Martin Starr and Eric Edelstein stopped by Alive this week to talk about their new movie. Watch the Alive TV video at ColumbusAlive.com.