A movie that changed the way I look at friendship that most people dont even know about. Paddleton hit Netflix last Friday. There was little to no advertising on this film what so ever but its a must watch film. Who would have thought a simple mix to racquetball and a film starring Ray Romano yes RAY ROMANO, would actually have an impact on me and almost cause me to tear up (OK actually caused me to tear up).
Two unlikely friends enjoy and go about the same routine day in and day out, go to work, go home, watch a karate movie, make pizza, play paddleton, sleep and repeat. They enjoy each others company everyday two single guys with no one else in there life but each other. Then there is a little loop when one friend Michael (Mark Duplass) is diagnosed with terminal cancer, throwing a wrench in there friendship.
When Michael decides he is going to take medicine to end his life rather than spend money and battle this incurable disease, Michael and his lifelong friend Andy (Ray Romano) go on a road trip to spend the last days together and get the medicine. But it makes us ask the question what would you do if your closest friend is diagnosed with an incurable disease? Would you help him obtain this medicine? How would you spend the last days? All of these questions that you ask yourself while watching these two friends on this life changing journey.
The thought that Michael has to process the whole time that he is taking his friend on this journey to gather medicine to help him kill himself, is pretty heavy. We see the effects it has on each of them, and how someone in that situation would handle it. They balance that with a blend of sorrow and humor, which is defiantly more dark and edgy humor. But director Alex Lehmann shows us a side of friendship that we never really explore and more frankly guys never want to admit, the bro-mance and love side of friendship.
Ray Romano nailed his role as he created a character that anyone outside would hate, but we learn to love and get his sense of humor and awkwardness. Not only did Ray nail his role, Mark Duplass as Mike also gave us a great performance as the cancer stricken friend. But sadly he gets overlooked a little in the film as Ray becomes the “main” guy, and we see this even in the film when he says “Im The Cancer Guy”, which we almost forget halfway through the film because of the main focus on Andy. But we still get a performance that is of never ending friendship and still get to know and love each of them.
But we also see the connection of Paddleton and “Death Punch” (The made up movie that these 2 guys love) as there escape from it all, the only normal thing these guys have left in there life. They do this to get away from it all they know Mike is going to die, and they know its soon. So they use this as there escape from it all and besides each other, Paddleton and Kung-Fu is the only thing in there life.
We are given this romantic adventure that we have never seen before, two guys in a platonic relationship that love each other like no one else. No kids, no wives, no family, just each other. It explores a side of love that we have never seen the bond between two unlikely friends, in the saddest and greatest moments of there life. Ray Romano gives us the best performance of his career, and this may not sound like a lot but he hits a home run with this one. Mark Duplass also nails the role and together on screen, Mark and Ray have this chemistry that feels real and genuine. This sure was one of the heaviest films I have watched in a while, because its not only what you see on screen but the questions you think about afterwards. The performances we received left us convinced and in shocked with what would happen if we were in there place. The question of what would you do if your lifelong soulmate is struck with a incurable disease? Defiantly go check this out on Netflix now as its something that will leave you thinking, and possibly crying.