Many of us have been there…
You think you’ve met the person of your dreams. They’re smart, funny, caring, share the same hobbies as you, the list goes on.
However, while they may seem perfect on paper at first, things may gradually unravel and reveal themselves. Indeed, it’s a universal experience and one we’ve seen reflected in countless romantic comedies and dramas.
Cinema’s fascination with relationships and romance is undying and this year has already offered some gems, including the directorial debut of Kimmy Gatewood, Good on Paper.
Based on a screenplay from Iliza Shlesinger, the comedian and actress stars as Andrea, a stand-up comic who thinks she’s met the ideal guy.
Elements of the story may feel very relatable and that’s aided by the fact that Good on Paper is based on a true story, so let’s get it explained…
Good On Paper: True story behind the Netflix movie
Iliza essentially wrote the script based on her own real-life experience with somebody she dated.
She explained during an interview with USA Today that the situation and character of Dennis Kelly (played by Ryan Hansen) is based on what happened after she met a stranger on a plane:
“The story is based off of my real-life experience and meeting someone on a plane, befriending them, thinking something was a little off and eventually falling for this person and then finding out everything about them was a lie from the day that I met them.”
As for how much of the film is faithful to the truth, she addressed: “The first two-thirds of the movie are the mostly true parts.”
Events transpired some time ago when Iliza was in her early 30s and she has previously spoken about them during a 2014 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, as well as on Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening.
While in conversation with the Daily News, she spoke of how they became friends for a year or so before they began dating. The dating phase lasted for roughly three months, after which she discovered he was basically fabricating all of the details of his life: “I started to put together he had lied about every single thing since the day I met him.”
In the film, Dennis claims that he’s a Yale University-educated hedge fund big shot who is also taking care of his unwell mother and it’s perhaps more impactful watching the film knowing that about two-thirds are accurate to the real story.
“This was so heavy”
Audiences may have had similar experiences, but Good on Paper cranks it up to 11.
Looking back, Iliza has reflected on why she felt the need to transform the memory into a movie:
“As an artist, and especially as a comic, whenever bad things happen, whenever life happens, it’s my job to get up there and talk about it, process it and make things relatable. This was so heavy, and it so stopped me in my tracks, so my cathartic way of processing it was to write it in a script.”
She also believes that it will help generate a discussion around being lured by falsehoods: “I think it’ll create a conversation about these sort of lying sociopaths that walk among us, because it was only in sharing the stories that so many people reached out to me and said, ‘Oh my God, I know a guy like this. I dated a girl like this. This is my roommate. This is my cousin.’”
More from Iliza Shlesinger
Although mostly known for her stand-up work, she has starred in a number of films over the years.
- Instant Family
- The Opening Act
- Pieces of a Woman
- The Right One
- Spenser Confidential
Good on Paper is now available to stream on Netflix.