Critic Consensus: It takes its time coming together, but the quietly effective Paddleton pulls off a tricky tonal balancing act, thanks largely to the strengths of its well-chosen leads.
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Critic Reviews for Paddleton
To get a sense of how excruciating the first hour is, you need to imagine Dumb and Dumber played for tears instead of laughs.
Previous writing-directing work by Duplass with his brother, Jay ("Jeff Who Lives at Home"), could be quietly devastating. "Paddleton" is mostly just quiet.
While "Paddleton" takes its time to get there, it ultimately reaches a deeply poignant conclusion. If you're patient enough, that alone could be worth the trip.
[T]o fight against "Paddleton" and its no-frills, in-the-moment mission of mercy is, ultimately, useless.
On the whole, Paddleton isn't quite as strong as was Lehmann's relatively little-seen debut, Blue Jay, but it builds to a duet as harrowing and tender and moving as anyone could desire, or fear, or both.
Audience Reviews for Paddleton
Whether they're original concepts, sequels to famous movies, or just simply of a forgotten classic, there's more content being made today than in any decade in history. Personally, I see this as both a negative and positive. Many viewers seem to think that originality is dead, due to the vast number of sequels and remakes in theatres, but everyone seems to give their money to those, so the original content either ends up buried at the Box Office or dropped on a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or HULU. Paddleton is one of the most recent films to have that exact thing happen, but in this particular instance, I feel Netflix is the perfect place for it, even though I loved it. Paddleton is a great film and here's why I believe it deserves some recognition. Following two best friends in Michael (Mark Duplass) and Andy (Ray Romano) as they come to terms with the fact that Michael has been diagnosed with cancer, the two of them agree to take a road trip to retrieve the medication, that will in turn speed up the process of Michael's life coming to an end. The premise of this story is very tragic, but the chemistry between these two actors make it a very enjoyable movie at times. I'm a sucker for independent cinema that follows certain character tropes if they're done well and Paddleton is a perfect showcase of them. While this may not be the easiest film to sit through in terms of the story itself, it really is the characters that will get viewers through it. As I said, I'm a sucker for the tropes that many independent films go for and in that regard, there are a few predictable aspects to the movie as a whole; However, this is a movie that's filled with heart, friendship, comedy, and a sense of joy that a man is able to find in his final days. Mark Duplass hasn't always written home runs, but I believe he has here, along with writer/director Alex Lehmann. Their work in putting this film together, along with Duplass' stellar lead performance, was well worth my time in itself. I've always been a fan of Mark Duplass and I will continue to be until the day he retires. I wouldn't recommend watching this film for its score or visual style, because it's very simplistic in those departments. From a very limited score in general to gorilla-style filmmaking, this movie feels raw, which is probably why I liked it so much. There's something about low-budget production that feels more authentic than most movies. The way the camera follows certain characters around, makes you feel like a fly on the wall in the movie. In the end, Paddleton is one of the best movies I've seen so far in 2019, but the year is very young. The subject matter is definitely not for everyone, especially if you're in for an uplifting story, but I still highly recommend this movie to those who are up for great characters on an enjoyable journey. Aside from a few predictable story beats, I loved this movie from start to finish. Simple and to the point, this movie hardly makes a misstep.
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