The Good Night
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Martin Freeman, Danny DeVito, Simon Pegg
Written By: Jake Paltrow
Director: Jake Paltrow
Rated: R, for strong language and sexual references
Let’s consider film to be like a gigantic canvas that can reflect the infinite complexities of the mind; a place where colors mix to create countless tones and mold themselves into the perfect cinematic texture. Unfortunately, Jake Paltrow, director of The Good Night, doesn’t think this way. If film is a canvas, he uses only a tiny corner to pen a stick figure.
Since this is his first attempt as a director, it’s logical that Paltrow has chosen a simple, yet moving plot. But this isn’t an excuse to give the audience a movie completely devoid of style.
The Good Night centers on Gary, a musician searching for the perfect life, love and art by hooking up with the woman of his dreams, literally. Martin Freeman plays the main character, and he gives a refreshing portrayal of a man who’s personal and professional lives have hit rock-bottom. Gary and his girlfriend Dora Gwyneth Paltrow have given up on reviving their defunct relationship, so Gary begins to dream about Anna Penélope Cruz, but can only find her during his slumber. Looking for a solution, he goes to see Mel Danny Devito, a guru who helps him interpret his dreams.
It makes sense that Gwyneth Paltrow would participate in her brother’s rookie film. What doesn’t make sense is Cruz’s decision to accept a role that completely undermines her acting talent. The script’s not terrible, but it’s one-dimensional. Jake Paltrow squandered the chance to capitalize on the abilities of two Oscar-nominated actresses, who, by the way, should be choosing projects that challenge them.
Of course there are moments when audience members can identify with Gary, but what makes a good film is the end result of all the factors – beyond the acting and script – that go into a film, such as music, wardrobe and set design, among many others.