Good Grief: Netflix 23 January 2024

I approached Good Grief with a lot of trepidation. Would it hit me too hard and would I end up sobbing on the floor? I need not have worried.

Yes, the movie is about grief – the initial loss is Marc losing his partner, which is what you see in the trailer. But his friends who try to support him each carry their own grief. One of the friends keeps trying to get Marc to just get past it but that person has her own problems with confronting what is in front of them. 

The movie is really about friendship and betrayal. It could have delved more deeply into Marc’s grief but it all felt superficial. I don’t know if that’s because Dan Levy doesn’t yet understand deep grief or if it’s because his character was trying desperately not to feel.

I thought the writing by Levy was good and I can’t fault the direction. My old boss, who was a film director, used to say that he knew a movie was good if he didn’t think about the directing while watching it. Before I’d even worked for him, I used to make note of directing choices and since then I’m even more aware of noticing the directing instead of just enjoying the movie. There were several times when I noted that I thought a shot was a good choice and then realized I needed to pay attention to the movie.

Ruth Negga and Himesh Patel were both brilliant as was Celia Imrie. I admit I didn’t recognize Negga or Patel for a while – both of them were playing a type of character I hadn’t seen them do before.

I liked the movie; I didn’t love it. Thankfully, it did not hit me as hard as I feared it would.

But the costumes! The clothes were beautiful. Marc was usually in a white t-shirt with a frayed collar and a delicate chain around the collar. But it was layered with fabulous sweaters, jackets, and coats.

And I envied most of Sophie’s clothes too.

By Carene Lydia Lopez