Sometime it’s nice to know exactly what you’re getting into. Even better? When you’re actually given what you expect. You don’t need anything beyond the film’s poster to know that The Good Guy is about two guys fighting for one girl’s heart. Even in the midst of the film, your instincts will keep you one step ahead of the developing plot. There’s nothing wrong with predictability as long as it’s entertaining.
Scott Porter is Tommy, an all star at his Wall Street financial firm. When the #1 trader on his team makes a swift exit for a bigger paycheck, Tommy insists that newcomer Daniel (Bryan Greenberg) is the man for the job. Daniel is smart, but lacks the aggression, foul mouth and power over women necessary to excel in the industry. In other words, he’s a bit of a drag. Tommy takes it upon himself to groom Daniel into the cutthroat employee he needs him to be.
Meanwhile, Tommy’s girlfriend Beth (Alexis Bledel) is growing frustrated with his long hours, but is smitten by his good looks and undeniable charm. Tommy introduces Beth to Daniel at a company party, they bond through their love of reading and she invites him to join her book club. Seeing this as an opportunity to throw Daniel in the ring with some ladies, Tommy encourages him to accept the offer. Little does he know, the two share an unspoken attraction to one another.
There’s nothing especially unique about the story, but The Good Guy uses a formulaic approach to its advantage. The plot is predictable, the characters somewhat dull and the editing often disconnecting, yet the film manages to grab hold of your attention and emotions creating a reasonably enjoyable experience.
The Good Guy has all of the romantic dramedy essentials: the pretty girl, the asshole boyfriend, the better suitor and a posse of obnoxious and judgmental friends. The sole standout performance comes from Porter. He pegs every facet of Tommy’s personality from the doting boyfriend to the dedicated employee down to the sleazy liar. On the other hand, Bledel and Greenberg’s characters are one-dimensional. Both adequately portray that single element, there’s just not enough there to make their situations as powerful or believable as Tommy’s.
Porter easily carries his scenes, but Bledel and Greenberg act as mere placeholders. They’re forced to use their supporting characters as crutches to trudge through their less interesting plotlines. Jessalyn Wanlim and Aaron Yoo win the Most Valuable Sidekick awards. As Jordan and Steve-O respectively, both teeter upon being downright annoying, but hold on just enough to deliver some giggle worthy moments.
The Good Guys isn’t downright hilarious, it won’t break your heart or inspire you to run out and find a loved one of your own, but it’s a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes. There are a handful of awkward and disengaging cuts, but otherwise, the film is tight and maintains an appropriate pace. Writer/director Julio DePietro plays it safe and lets the audience coast through and indulge in a simply charming film.