Iliza Shlesinger and Margaret Cho make a very funny duo, and while this collaboration isn't great cinema, it's an amusing and well-paced hour and half of entertainment.
The few laugh-out-loud scenes in Good on Paper involve the pair together -- an over-prepared stake-out and a misguided interrogation come to mind. The film flashes every now and then, Seinfeld-esque, to Shlesinger doing stand-up routines related to the movie's storyline, which we're told is "a mostly true story." These inserts could have fallen flat or pulled the viewer too far out of the action of the story, but since she's playing a stand-up comic and the routines are part of her character's story, it works.
In the film, the comedian's act revolves around questioning gender roles: Why when women do certain things are they judged so much more harshly than men? The inserts are funny especially in the context of the story being told.
A final sequence involving a courtroom battle feels out of tone for the rest of the film. Ryan Hansen captures just the right mix of weird and harmless to make his character believable and only slightly creepy, keeping things from getting dark.
Beyond the devious beau, it's a good bet that some of what Shlesinger's comic deals with in Good on Paper -- like a drunk "bro" telling her she's funny "for a girl" and the jealousies and struggles of forging a career in the entertainment industry -- are also "a mostly true story."
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.