I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!
Aaron Eisenberg and Will Eisenberg
The June episode of Hulu’s wildly uneven horror anthology Into the Dark gives horror fans a reason to stay at home instead of going to the theater. If you’ve seen more than one episode of Into the Dark, you know that there’s about a 50/50 chance it’s going to suck (My Valentine) or is going to…not suck (A Nasty Piece of Work).
Be glad that Good Boy falls into the good-er category. We know that anthologies by their very nature are hit-and-miss, but it’s astonishing how bad the bad Into The Dark episodes are and how good the good ones are. You wish there were a pattern as to when the good ones will air so you can plan to watch them.
Just please, don’t skip Good Boy. If only because it has everyone’s onscreen best friend Judy Greer (Jurassic World- where she actually plays someone named Karen, Ant-Man, Halloween 2018 and pretty much every BFF part from 2000 on). This time Greer has the lead role.
I know, Judy Greer as the primary player is a little odd to digest so I’m just going to waste this sentence so you can get your mind right.
She’s not. Mainly because she’s an actress playing a part. And because she’s my best friend. You’ve seen her play Jennifer Garner’s bestie in 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Lopez’ bestie in The Wedding Planner, Katherine Heigl’s bestie in 27 Dresses, and-
That will absolutely happen, Annie Wilkes. Then you’re Judy Greer stanning will finally bear tangible results.
But maybe Judy Greer is best friend to ALL of us.
I think we should segue into the review now, where Judy Greer’s character is the one in need of a best friend…
Looks like a candy cane.
Synopsis in the Dark
Good Boy (not to be confused with 2019’s Good Boys which had that little kid trapped in the room from Room) opens with Maggie (Judy Greer) going on yet another bad blind date. You can sense Maggie is resigned to not finding a partner. She has no children. She lives alone. Her dating app profile constantly attracts 40-year old bachelor man-children. Her job as a newspaper reporter (for The Valley Yeller, no less) is going nowhere, mostly because no one reads newspapers anymore.
Thank you for that.
Yes. Please let me finish this review or else I’ll call Judy Greer and tell her not to be your friend anymore.
On top of all of that, The Valley Yeller is going digital which means that all the workers are going to get laid off. Or at least work freelance, which could possibly/probably mean less money if any money at all. On top of the top of that, Maggie’s landlady Bea (Maria Conchita Alonso) is raising her rent and calling it a “parking fee”.
This is not helping Maggie’s anxiety.
Maggie’s douchey boss at the paper Don (Steve Guttenberg) suggests Maggie get an animal companion to help with her anxiety.
Maggie takes douchey Don’s advice and gets herself a pooch from the pound. She names him Reuben (played by Chico, seen in various episodes of American Horror Story) after he devours her Reuben sandwich.
After a period of adjustment, Maggie and Reuben are getting along better than you’d ever expect. Maggie’s anxiety is reduced and Reuben has a forever home. Maggie is now willing to date again.
Except it’s another bad date. Maggie’s quite used to it except…
Her date ends up dead. Neighbors think that Bad Date got run over by a car, but Maggie notices some blood on Reuben’s fur. On the plus side, Maggie was able to write an article about the accident which garnered a boatload of hits online. At least something good came from the date.
Maggie gets a small bonus because of the article and is able to pay the rent markup. Maggie goes to Bea’s and drops off the check. Again, she notices something odd in Bea’s apartment.
Like Bea’s dead body.
It would appear Reuben’s struck again, because he really doesn’t like it when mommy gets stressed out. And he’s willing to do anything to ease Maggie’s anxiety, like devour things bigger than a Reuben sandwich.
In spite of, or because of, the canine homicide, Maggie’s life is getting better. She has a steady boyfriend, a cop named Nate (McKinley Freeman). He’s trying to solve what happened to Bea.
Little does Nate know that the culprit is his girlfriend’s seemingly sweet little dog. But Maggie doesn’t mind if Reuben is “protective” because he’s just her exceptionally good boy. With a body count.
What Works With Good Boy
- Judy Greer’s priceless lead performance as Maggie is alone worth a watch. Her comic timing is as sharp as ever, though it is odd not seeing her help the main character out with homespun wisdom or snarky advice since she is the main character (“That cat is fat as f*ck”).
- It’s not just an episode of a horror anthology, Good Boy is also doing a public service as I personally had no idea when I last expressed my anal glands.
- Steve Guttenberg steals the few scenes he’s in as Maggie’s smarmy boss. To be honest I thought Steve Guttenberg was dead as the last thing I saw him in was probably Police Academy 10 or 3 Men And A Baby 6. Anyway, he’s funny. And alive.
What Doesn’t Work With Good Boy
- The final act doesn’t quite match the humor and the momentum of the first hour. The ending isn’t anticlimactic, but it’s nowhere near the pitch of what preceded it. Know this going in and you won’t be too disappointed.
Be a good boy (or girl) and forget going to restaurants and the theater and stay at home for an above average episode of Into The Dark. See it with your favorite pet and don’t be surprised if it eats you or members of your family*.
*this review is not responsible if you or members of your family get eaten by the family pet