|Directed by||Alex Lehmann|
|Starring||Mark Duplass, Ray Romano|
|Released on||February 1, 2019(Sundance), February 22, 2019 (United States)|
Paddleton is one of the most precious films on Netflix at the moment. Every now and again you find one of these, hidden gems on the gargantuan streaming platform and it honestly makes you day – Paddleton is one of those films. Absolutely lovely.
I’ve never seen a film that features two males with a really close friendship – straight males I mean. So that is definitely a first in itself already. Middle-aged Michael (Mark Duplass) and Andy (Ray Romano) are two single men who live in the same building. They’ve been friends since Andy lived above and Michael moved in downstairs. They tease, laugh and make jokes. The way the two have shown chemistry on screen clearly implies a very strong friendship. It runs deep. There’s nothing shallow about it. They don’t make your classic dude/bro/pal jokes. They genuinely care about each other. It’s as close to romantic as two hetero males can get.
The film is named after the game Paddleton that the two play. It involves hitting a ball against an old abandoned screen until it falls into a carefully placed oil drum. Besides this we have scenes of the two eating pizza in front of a crappy old television. They do this a lot. I loved the way the director captures the homeliness of the two. You know this is their routine, they’ve been doing this for years, they’re comfortable.
Unfortunately, that’s not all the Paddleton is about, as all good things must come to an end (sadly), so does their friendship. Michael finds out he has terminal cancer – and there really isn’t anything the doctors can do to help him. He’s going to die a slow but eventual death. So, he decides that instead of hanging around and waiting for the cold clutches of death to take him, he’s gonna do it himself. He tells Andy that he wants to end his life before he gets too sick.
So, the two continue to live their lives as normally as possible, until Michael gets too sick to play Paddleton and then starts the decline. Over the course of the Paddleton the two bond more than they ever did. It is truly a lovely film.
The writers and director have clearly done a brilliant job, so have the actors. Portraying something like this is hard and they’ve done it with finesse to perfection. So honestly go give this one a chance, its so very worth it.
Video Credit – Netflix | YouTube