Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nice Guy Johnny

Today I saw Nice Guy Johnny, starring Matt Bush and Edward Burns.

Johnny (Bush) is a California sports broadcaster a few weeks shy of getting married. His fiancé Claire (Anna Wood) is pressuring him to give up his current low-paying job and take one arranged by her wealthy father. He is a nice guy, so he agrees to it.

Enter Uncle Terry (Burns), an out-for-pleasure bartender who thinks his nephew is too young to be taking the plunge and attempts to set him up with a young tennis player. Her name is Brooke (Kerry Bishé), she is naturally beautiful and somewhat perfect for Johnny.

But Johnny's a nice guy, so he refuses to play his uncle's games and comes clean about being engaged. Brooke finds this to be noble, but doesn't completely give up on pursuing him.

After some time away at the beach, Johnny reconsiders the vast career move he's about to make and mistakenly expresses his concerns to Claire. She has an unreasonable, crazy reaction, which leaves him soul searching for the right answers.

What's so great about Burns' films, this one included, is that every character feels real. It helps that with the exception of Burns, that this is a cast of unknowns, but even if there were A-list actors playing each part, I dare say they'd still reek of authenticity. Everyone on screen behaves the way someone we've all known behaves.

My first response to the character of Claire was that she was too over-the-top and bitchy to be someone that Johnny would want to marry, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I know several couples like that. One person is lovely and sweet; the other not so much and no one knows why they're together.

I also like the role reversal of Johnny, the guy, being the good person. Sure, Terry's character more than satisfies our need for male sliminess, but our hero here is not a wounded or scorned woman chewing her way through bad men. Our hero is a good man trying to sustain a relationship with a bad woman.

I, despite my gender, find that refreshing.

And really, refreshing is a great word to sum up this whole rom com. There are well-developed characters to root for, there's pretty scenery to look at and a sense of closure when it all comes together, which left a smile on my face as the credits rolled.

Nice Guy Johnny is available now On Demand and via iTunes.


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