I constantly have a fear that in the endless dumps of Netflix Originals that get released constantly that something truly special will pass by with me totally oblivious to its existence. Right as I start to shake this feeling there is a movie like Paddleton that brings it right back. This is a movie I only heard brief things about but decided on a whim to check out and I am so happy I did. I honestly could see this being my favorite film of the year entirely, this is such an incredible film and the fact that I could have just passed it by is crazy to me.
Where I know there is close to a 0% chance of this film getting any awards buzz due to its quiet release so early in the year but if any part of this film was going to break through I wish it would be for the acting. Both Mark Duplass and Ray Romano have incredible chemistry and build what might be one of my favorite on-screen friendships of all time. The ups and downs that they have to face feel so real, it at times feels more real than I was even comfortable with. They are both just so solid in such a natural way, these are performances that sadly will go under the radar but both deserve to be seen by everyone. They will go down as some of my favorite performances of the year unless this year really is beyond special.I will say it does help their relationship that the script for this film is so strong. Mark Duplass and Alexandre Lehmann do an amazing job building this friendship in ways that feel genuine without falling into cliches. I especially love the way Ray Romano's character deals with his friend getting cancer. He is very held back in his emotional output yet is so rich in that subtleness that it just blows me away. This is a career highlight for him easily and a lot of that is due to the amazing writing behind his character. The script also does a great job blending the deep emotional pain of the plot with the sarcastic and humorous friendship. Neither side of the script took away from the other and their combination led to some really beautiful moments and scenes.
It's the strong friendship and characters that lead to this film becoming one of the most devastating movies I have seen in a long time, I cannot remember the last time I ugly cried at a movie as I did at the conclusion of this one. The emotions are so genuine throughout the film that the ending hits so much harder. It doesn't feel like two characters going through a struggle but rather two real people with real friendship. This movie is honestly painful at times and I don't know if I would ever want to watch it again because of that, but that is only a sign of how effective it is. If you are reading this please check out this movie, as I mentioned I would not be shocked or disappointed in the year if this was my #1 film when we reach the end of 2019 and I hope that over time more and more discover this masterpiece.