Film

The Good Guy Pursues Love Interest that Isn’t

by

In a world full of muscled hunks who claw their way up Wall Street by lying and cheating on two office phones at once, how does a dimpled, eco-responsible sweetheart (Alexis Bledel) in search of true love, sort the wheat from the alpha-male chaff? Writer-director Julio DePietro has worked in this environment and seen a lot of romantic comedies, so he has the options down. Bledel’s Beth can ask her all-girl, multi-culti book club, whose reading list runs to Nabokov rather than Austen, ergo, “He’s hot—if you don’t do him, I will,” or she can attend to her nobler instincts, which kick in for the jug-eared but promisingly barrel-chested Pride and Prejudice reader (Bryan Greenberg) after much ostentatious waving from the script that her current squeeze (Scott Porter) may not be the popular go-getter he seems to be. I’d like to tell you it’s more complicated, but it really isn’t, despite the endless detours to Manhattan bars, bookstores, and trendy streets in pursuit of a love mystery that isn’t. DePietro is no cynic, and he means well—but he also means to corner the coveted Dear John demographic, which, in turn, means that The Good Guy suffers from the dreary want of imagination about the specificity of twentysomething life that has sunk so many other specimens of this battered genre.