Good Grief Review – Thoughtful and therapeutic

By Romey Norton
Published: January 5, 2024 (Last updated: 5 weeks ago)
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Good Grief Review
Good Grief | Image via Netflix
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Summary

A film where resolution isn’t the point, but making space for grief is. Good Grief is a light and sagacious look into grieving, with a sprinkle of fun and a whole lot of love.

Good Grief surrounds the story of an artist called Marc, played by Dan Levy (who wrote, directed, and stars in the film), who takes his best friends, Sophie (Ruth Negga) and Thomas (Himesh Patel), to Paris to help navigate and deal with his grief. Marc’s husband Oliver’s (Luke Evans) death sends Marc on a journey of self-love and re-discovery as he tries to rebuild and repaint a new life without him in it.

Not everyone likes or wants to talk about grief, but it’s something we experience and is unavoidable. This heartwarming and honest Netflix film gives grief space for those missing loved ones during the holiday season. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to grieving, and this tight little film is powerful in reminding its audience of that.

The film beautifully displays how grief can affect someone. In this case, Marc stops painting and stops being creative, and the story is about finding that passion again through healing. It has the feeling of a Richard Curtis rom-com, with its charm and filming style. Especially with the friends all drinking in a cafe talking about their failed lives/ambitions and truth-telling. 

There are many familiar faces amongst the cast, each with excellent chemistry. Levy is his delightful, endearing self, and whilst it’s hard to not see him as David from Schitt’s Creek, he brings an undeniable honesty to his role without being overly heavy and depressing. 

Whilst Good Grief is good at asking questions that surround grief, it doesn’t answer them. Does it need to? It’s about distraction, rather than confrontation, and this is a method people use to deal with grief. The film reaffirms that there is no proper way to grieve, and audiences can take solace in watching a film that’s not forceful in creating happiness but instead makes space for sorrow. 

Good Grief puts its trust in you as an audience to listen, pay attention, and immerse yourself into its healing story. There are no twists, no huge revealed secrets, and no dramatic arc or turning points for our protagonist — you’re simply riding the wave of grief. Now, there are times when the film loses its rhythm, but it regains it, so it is easily forgiven. 

Is Good Grief worth watching? 

The ending is stylistic, and artistic, and felt very close to home for me, which shows how time begins to heal everything, but at a slow and steady pace. 

With a short runtime of one hour and forty minutes, Good Grief is a well-crafted, well-written, and well-executed piece of film that you can watch again and again — especially when you need a little uplift in life. If the blues are creeping up on you, I recommend taking the time to watch this film. 


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