Some films are pretentious from the start and nothing can help to surpass it.
In a world, where a greeting card is a matter of life and death, the director Michael Stephenson tells a story of a burn-out copywriter. This micro-budget, comedy drama gets more bonkers with every minute passing, but the only real standout and therefore “attention beacon” is Bob Odenkirk in the main role.
Ray Wentworth (Bob Odenkirk) is introduced to us at the moment of his lifetime breakdown – he loses his job. However, an opportunity to get back on track emerges for Ray. The governor announces a new day off called Girlfriend’s Day and a competition for the best greeting card begins.
Among redneck neo-nazis, stupendously boring associates in the greeting cards industry and half-wit Sherlock-type detective, Ray seems to be the only fraction of ordinary in this world. Bob Odenkirk as a broke guy, whose life went off the rails, quickly gains the sympathy of the audience. The charm known from the role of Saul Goodman in “Breaking Bad” is omnipresent. He is brilliant in being the cynical loser, a guy we all know and we all root for. No matter how ridiculous his failures are, there is always light in the tunnel. Or at least we hope there is, because he deserves it.
Although Bob Odenkirk does his best, “Girlfriend’s Day” falls short. The script bounces like a ball in a tennis court, from drama to comedy, back and forth. Michael Stephenson tries so hard to sell his film as a serious drama. Yet it is more of a Coen-influenced comedy (heavily drawing from “A Serious Man”).
The comedy spices up, but the poorly written drama dilutes the essence of “Girlfriend’s Day”. Frankly, it never manages to bore (mainly due to fast pace and short run-time), but there is something awfully lacking, as if the story never fully unfolded.
Netflix garners more and more attention due to its fabulous, small-budget undertakings. Although majority of them – unfortunately – never jumps over the fence of the streaming platform, they do deserve a chance as independent projects. “Girlfriend’s Day” is not the best out of them, but it does not hurt either – as a light comedy with a bit of grim shadow, it almost works.
Write me a poem – Girlfriend’s Day (2017)
Dir. Michael Stephenson
Cast: Bob Odenkirk
Hate Grade: 6/10