Fortunately, I didn’t ask anyone what this film was about prior to seeing it. They probably would have (accurately) said something like: “Oh, it’s a bromance about middle aged men investigating missing porn stars”. To which I would have responded: “OK, I think I’ll just stay home and eat things instead”. This conversation never happened though.
The Stats- Year: 2016 Length: 116 mins Director: Shane Black Producer: Joel Silver Who’s in it?: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, Angourie Rice, Yaya Dacosta, Margaret Qualley
Set in 1970s LA, The Nice Guys is a comedy about the reluctantly partnered private investigator Holland March (Gosling) and cynical enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe). No one specifies what type of enforcer. Just an enforcer who gets paid to beat people into submission. March spends an unreasonable amount of time on commission searching for a missing (blatantly already dead) porn star named Misty Mountains. On an apparently unrelated- but equally questionable venture- Healy turns up and convinces him to also help search for another porn star who, to his credit, is at least alive. Hilarity ensues. The whole cinema was chuckling until the end credits rolled. Having said that, the screen was very small- as though Vue Cinemas do not respect Ryan Gosling? I respect you, Ryan.
He’s hilarious as an offbeat, wimpy and often drunk single parent. Good acting performances all round means he is given a run for his money on screen presence- Angourie Rice almost outshined him. I don’t know who she is but she probably has a very bright future. Also Hannibal Burress makes a cameo as giant bumblebee, which when you think about it, is an entirely logical thing for him to do.
Nice Guys comes off like a spoof of another genre, I’m just not sure which one. A comedic version of noir with some whodunnit elements thrown in? In any case, Shane Black pulls the combination off very well. The film is reminiscent of Inherent Vice with the 70’s, comedy/crime and sex theme but with Gosling in place of Joaquin Pheonix, it seems a lot more accessible. It’s also a lot more danceable with an excellent soundtrack featuring your grandma’s favourite bands: The Temptations, Earth Wind and Fire, Bee Gees, Al Green
Considering the subject matter of the film and number of boobs bared, it could have been a horrible deal for the women’s roles but it wasn’t entirely. The standout feature of the film was the endearing father- daughter relationship between March and 13 year old Holly (Rice). March respects her opinion as much as any adult’s and constantly teaches her not to end her sentences with qualifiers (Lean In, ladies). Of course advising her “Don’t say ‘There are whores here and stuff’, just say there are whores here”- is probably not the best way to do it but Rome wasn’t built in a day
Should you watch it?: Yes, I found this film hilarious and laughed all the way through it. Don’t see it with your parents or if you don’t like seeing naked people. You will see them.
Also check out: Inherent Vice
Check it out: http://www.theniceguysmovie.com/#!/home