Good Grief Review | Daniel Levy’s Directorial Debut Is a Simplistic Conversational Moving-on Story

The directorial debut of Schitt’s Creek fame Daniel Levy, Good Grief, is an attempt to show the life of Gay people in a more relaxed yet sensitive manner. A larger chunk of the movies have always been stuck on sexual orientation and have not bothered much to look beyond that. Levy’s story has no intention of going into that space, and he actually invests more in establishing the other aspects, like relationships, friendships, and the struggles of moving on, in this story.

Marc and his partner Oliver live in London. On one Christmas night, Marc lost Oliver in a car accident, and his friends Thomas and Sophie helped him in that grieving space. After almost a year, Marc finds out something about Oliver that really bothered him, and in order to find closure on that, he decides to go to Paris with his close friends. What all unfolds in Paris is what we see in Good Grief.

As I said, the movie is set against the backdrop of a society that is completely okay with homosexuality. So, in a way, what we are seeing is a feel-good drama with homosexual characters. How they are shattered in a relationship, struggle to move on, deal with their friends, etc. There is a bit in the movie where Marc is talking to this new guy whom he met in Paris, and it almost had that Before Sunrise kind of conversational gist to its credit. Then there is this dinner table scene where Sophie asks her friends to let her accept the reality that she has commitment issues, and even Thomas acknowledges his weakness.

While the film has these occasional moments of conversation that have a sense of slice-of-life feel to its credit, I found the narrative speed a bit bumpy. If I am not wrong, what we are seeing on screen is the journey of a character through a span of 2-3 years. But Levy has chosen a method where he specifically focuses on just a handful of days in that time period. Even though it looks a bit exciting and challenging on paper, I felt that it sort of became a hurdle for the narrative as we couldn’t really see the transition happening in the characters. The background score and the visuals of Paris in the night all help the movie add a sense of depth to those moments that have an underlying sadness.

As Marc, Daniel Levy portrays the insecurities and vulnerabilities of that character pretty neatly on screen. How much the character wants to be in a space where he doesn’t have to lie is very palpable on screen. And the chemistry between the friends is also quite impressive. Ruth Negga plays the part of the impulsive Sophie, and Himesh Patel plays the role of the demanding friend in the gang, Thomas.

Good Grief has its moments within those conversational bits. The structure of the story is pretty generic, where we see an individual trying to get out of a mental block, and as always, it happens when he takes a journey and sees random people who understand the grief. With relatively less greyness and more optimism sprinkled all over the narrative, it is that feel-good take on moving on in a less delusional way.

Final Thoughts

With relatively less greyness and more optimism sprinkled all over the narrative, it is that feel-good take on moving on in a less delusional way.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.