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Review: The Good Guy is subprime Wall St drama

Review: The Good Guy is subprime Wall St drama

Source: AssociatedPress

By: Jake Coyle

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Saturday 20 February 2010

Movie Title

Review: The Good Guy is subprime Wall St drama

Director

Julio DePietro

Star Cast

Alexis Bledel, Bryan Greenberg, Andrew McCarthy, Anna Chlumsky, Scott Porter, Aaron Yoo

Written and filmed before the economic collapse, the Wall St drama The Good Guy is about as valuable as AIG stock.

The film, written and directed by Julio DePietro in his debut, is indeed unfortunate in its timing. About the only hint of the stock market collapse is a fleeting background news broadcast of "another record down day on Wall Street" - a bit of audio surely added in post-production.

The Good Guy, though, can't be said to be completely irrelevant. It's about Wall St lies, only told through romantic deception rather than financial fakery.

Scott Porter (Jason Street on Friday Night Lights) stars as Tommy Fielding, a hot shot broker for the fictional bank Morgan Brothers. (In the wreckage of the market collapse, a Morgan Stanley-Lehman Brothers merger turned out to be surprisingly feasible.)

He works for the loutish, cheating and all-too-blatantly-named Cash (Andrew McCarthy). He's as close as the film gets to Gordon Gekko, but Cash - and The Good Guy as a whole - doesn't have anything close to that bite.

Though rated R, it feels PG. This is Wall St by way of Gossip Girl.

Tommy's girlfriend is Beth (Alexis Bledel), an urban conservationist who's beginning to wonder if her Wall St boyfriend is moral enough for an archaeologist like herself. She's also gravitating toward a young colleague of Tommy's: Daniel Seaver (Bryan Greenberg).

Daniel is fresh to Wall St. Though he looks the part as a young white guy in a shirt and tie, we're repeatedly told how ill-fitting he is to Wall St as an Ivy League graduate and a former Marine.

Like many films do, The Good Guy uses a kind of Facebook profile approach to investing intelligence in its characters. Daniel is smart not because of anything he says or does, but because his favorite book is Pride and Prejudice. And he's been to Botswana!

Daniel, rather unbelievably, does poorly in picking up girls or in the Mad Men-style wining-and-dining of clients. He fares better with Beth's book club, and when they take up The Good Soldier, its obvious The Good Guy is a kind of homage to Ford Madox Ford's novel.

A reckoning of some kind predictably comes, but nothing in the film provides much weight. Porter is wonderfully earnest and charismatic as a wheel chair-bound former QB on FNL (the best show on TV, incidentally) and he puts up a decent enough aloof frat boy front here.

But this is a movie of wallflowers. DePietro's cardboard cutout characters try to reinforce the simplistic cliche of: suits bad, artsy people good.

The Good Guy is a long flashback, bookended by an eventful, rainy night. It's a picture of a Manhattan (mostly the Upper East Side) of fancy rooftops, doorman buildings, taxis, nice restaurants - and nothing in shadows.

It makes one crave the darkness of American Psycho.

The Good Guy, a Roadside Attractions release, is rated R for pervasive language and some sexual content.

Running time: 90 minutes

Rating: One and half stars out of four

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