Indie filmmaker/actor Mark Duplass co-wrote and stars alongside Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) in this low-key dramedy about two middle-aged male friends facing death.
Neighbours Michael (Duplass) and Andy (Romano) like to hang out together and watch kung fu movies (well, one in particular), make pizzas and play a game they invented called Paddleton. When Michael is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he asks Andy to help him go out on his own terms, which necessitates a road trip to pick up some life-ending pills.
The basic kindness Michael and Andy show each other is something the world could use a lot more of right now. The story being told may not sound especially exciting on paper, but the chemistry between Duplass and Romano ensures the film is never less than engaging throughout.
Although he dips his toes in mainstream waters, Duplass remains admirably committed to independent cinema, and is right at home in Paddleton, which is tonally aligned with many of his previous films. He is really good at making these quiet worlds come alive with rich authenticity.
After creating and starring in one of the most successful sitcoms in history, Romano continues to make interesting choices in his post-Raymond career. He is simply a delight here, and it's time he started getting recognition for how his acting skills have evolved.
They make for an extremely appealing duo, and that appeal ensures the film isn't overcome by its more maudlin aspects. It's a nice thought that more people will probably see this because it's on Netflix, as opposed to a small theatrical release. Because this is a film people really should see.
Mark Duplass, Ray Romano, Christine Woods
A mellow yet effective ode to human decency. And bro hangs.