'Paddleton,' which has just been added to Netflix today, is full of heart.
Reviewing 'Paddleton' without giving too much away about the plot is incredibly difficult, but here goes.
Ray Romano ('Everybody Loves Raymond') plays Andy, the upstairs neighbour to Mark Duplass' ('Zero Dark Thirty') Michael. Michael, the younger of the two friends, is diagnosed with a terminal cancer. We find this out in the very first scene of the movie, and with them both finding out at the same time, from the get-go we realise that they are more than just neighbours.
Andy and Michael's friendship is the winning formula to 'Paddleton.' The pair are constantly referring to themselves as neighbours, even though it's plainly obvious that they are much more than that. They play board games together; pass each-other on the way to work every morning; they watch the movie 'Death Punch' while eating pizza every night; and play the ball game together that they invented, paddleton.
Their friendship is such a powerful one, its one which you hoped you had in your life. Romano and Duplass' chemistry is second to none believable, and watching the pair on screen interact with the outside world is both hilarious, and cringeworthy, to say the least. Romano's Andy is highly strung, and delightfully over-the-top; but he's protective of Michael, yet also heavily reliant on him. Duplass' Michael is the polar opposite, preferring to stay the easy-going guy with cancer.
One scene that shows off their character traits, is when they head off on a road trip together. Andy wakes up to find Michael has disappeared from their hotel room, and for those few minutes, Andy is completely lost. When he eventually finds Michael sitting in the hotel lobby, he just brushes off his delirium nonchalantly, not wanting to show his true emotions. It's this dynamic that is the crux of 'Paddleton.'
We see a middle-aged male friendship as it truly is, and it's very tongue-in-cheek the whole way through. You'll find yourself laughing in quite a number of scenes, particularly when you're probably not supposed to be; kind of like trying to stifle a giggle while you're at the back seat of mass.
Friendship is the number one storyline of 'Paddleton,' and Duplass' script is a winning formula at showing it. Also, both he and Romano acted as Executive Producers, and it's so nice to see Romano come out of the woodwork and play a great character like Andy. The actor is set to play a role in Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' set for release later this year too.
In conclusion, 'Paddleton' is worth your time this weekend. Not only are Romano and Duplass an unbelievable double-act, the topics covered in 'Paddleton' will resonate with you for a long time after watching it; and that's a sign of a great movie. Plus, the movie had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, as if you needed any more convincing.
'Paddleton' is available on Irish Netflix now.