I watched Good Dick this weekend and have been thinking about it ever since. It’s the story of a nameless introverted woman (played by Marianna Palka who also wrote and directed the film) who spends her time watching soft core erotic movies and the homeless video store clerk (John Ritter) who is for some reason drawn to her.
The trailer makes it seem like the movie is a light hearted love story about lonely people. The lonely part is definitely right but I would not call it “light” in any sense of the word. Sure there are funny parts, but mostly it’s the story of a really strange relationship where the man forces his way into the woman’s claustrophobic life in order to force her to deal with whatever weird sexual experience she had in the past that made her so closed off.
The video store clerk, who is sleeping in his car, gets her address from her customer information and tries to set up a random run in with the woman only to scare her off. To be even more creepy he actually rings her doorbell and makes up a story about his great aunt who lives in the building dying. I don’t blame the woman for holding a butcher knife when she finally relents and lets her in.
Their romantic relationship is built of cleaning, hair washing, and watching porn films together. The woman insults the man, yells at him, and is almost physically violent with him when he persists that they are in a relationship. The gender roles are reversed, she wants to be in control at all times and the dude is more than happy to cook dinner and clean the house without even the promise of sex. Sometimes when the woman would belittle the video store clerk while he almost begged for her to leave the house and meet his friends, I was reminded of shitty relationships I’d had in the past. By “in the past” I mean in like middle school and high school. But that’s pretty much the level of romantic emotions that we’re dealing with in these characters.
Yet somehow, in the end, Good Dick is actually a romantic comedy. I don’t know how it happened with so much dysfunction flying around but despite all the porn, penis measuring, platonic sharing of beds, and faux humping, the movie actually works. So, props to Marianna Palka for creating something interesting and unnerving and hard to forget. See it, cause y’all like dick, right?