Dan Levy’s Good Grief draws on his own experiences with grief and loss

By Louie Fecou
Published: January 6, 2024 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
Good Grief: Is Dan Levy's Movie Based on a True Story?
Good Grief | Image via Netflix

Schitt’s Creek director and writer Dan Levy has released his first feature film on Netflix. Good Grief is a dramedy that explores grief, relationships, and the family that we choose, and looks at the impact extreme loss can have on us, and the need to move on. Good Grief isn’t strictly based on a true story, but it does incorporate elements from Levy’s real life and his relationship with grief and loss.

Is Good Grief based on a true story?

As above, Good Grief isn’t directly based on a true story but is informed by elements of personal experience.

Levy explains a lot of the inspiration for the screenplay in an interview conducted by Entertainment Weekly and explains that the loss and grief embedded in Good Grief comes from dealing with not only the death of his dog but also losing a loved one towards the end of the Covid lockdown.

During the interview, he would explain:

“I lost my grandmother toward the tail end of the pandemic, and I was in a very strange headspace in terms of feeling the weight and the profound sense of tragedy of what the COVID pandemic had done for all of us, while at the same time trying to honor the passing of someone who meant so much to me.”

What is the meaning behind Good Grief?

It is often hard to interpret the artistic meaning behind someone’s project, especially one that means a lot to the creator, as we all take different things from different pieces of work. However, the underlying message of Good Grief is to keep moving forward despite what terrible obstacles life throws at us, and to try, however hard it is, to remember that we have people around us who love and care for us through dark times. We should recognize them, accept their help, and understand that even in the bleakest of times there is always hope and space for another chance at happiness.

The actual expression “good grief” is often used as a statement of shock or astonishment, but the use of the term here seems to subvert the term, turning it around and presenting to the viewer that sometimes grief can be good if we can process it in a way that helps us to move on. Older readers may recall the extensive use of the term in the Charlie Brown cartoon strip and animated features, where the exclamation “Good grief, Charlie Brown” was often heard.

Has Dan Levy lived in London?

Levy has famously stated that he lived in London, and became obsessed with the celebrity culture of the UK while living there. An article in The Daily Mail would quote Levy from a podcast he took part in saying, “The Canadian actor emigrated to London after he finished university, around 2005, to get some space from a ‘tricky’ relationship and to find confidence.”

The film starts in London before the action moves to Paris.


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