For Better or Worse, ‘Girlfriend’s Day’ is a Feature Length ‘Mr. Show’ Sketch

Girlfriend's Day

With his comedy partner David Cross, Bob Odenkirk changed the face of modern comedy on the late ‘90s sketch show Mr. Show. When Mr. Show was at its best, Odenkirk and Cross employed a cinematic style on their high concept sketches, one that served as a precursor to the cinematic style employed on Key & Peele. In a brand new movie on Netflix, Odenkirk and director Mark Paul Stephenson craft what might’ve been considered one of the great sketches of Mr. ShowGirlfriend’s Day. Here is a wildly cinematic gag that plays upon the tropes of film noir while selling each and every aspect of its absurd world with a straight face. At once, Girlfriend’s Day is what represents the best of the Mr. Show thought process while simultaneously feeling the strain of stretching out a sketch to a feature length. If you’re a fan of Mr. Show and have a working knowledge of film noir tropes, Girlfriend’s Day is 70 minutes of comedic brilliance that skewers the shadows with a deadly serious sensibility.

In the offbeat world of Girlfriend’s Day, Ray (Odenkirk) used to be the romance king of the greeting card world. Since his wife left him, Ray has lost the ability to clearly state sentimentality and his cold streak results in his firing. A late night accident while drinking after his dismissal results in a hand injury, and Ray spends the next couple months scraping by in a drunken stupor unable to write. Just before the Governor of California announces a new holiday, Girlfriend’s Day, Ray is approached by his old boss Styvesan (Alex Karpovsky) to write some stuff about girlfriends under the table. Ray has unwittingly entered a dark world, one where Gundy (Stacey Keach), the owner of the greeting card company, hires Detective Miller (Kevin O’Grady) to follow him; and soon Orwell Taft (Larry Fessenden), a legendary card writer, is discovered dead. Throughout the murder and intrigue, Ray has started to find his ability to write once again thanks to the unlikely relationship formed with Jill (Amber Tamblyn), but the dark shadow surrounding Girlfriend’s Day might impede on that growing love.

The screenplay by Odenkirk, Philip Zlotorynski, and Eric von Hoffman revels in the tropes of film noir in this absurdist take. Ray is the typical everyman in these stories. He’s a broken man, drinking excessively, and entirely down on his luck. An offer too good to be true wanders into his life in a back room deal. Then he’s entered a world of murder and the mogul behind it all. Of course, there’s the dame that drives it all. Bob Odenkirk is able to encapsulate the kind of wounded hero of the noir tale, employing that same sad sack sensibility that works so well on Better Call Saul.

Don’t expect an over the top, blatant comic tone in Girlfriend’s Day. Much of the humor of the film derives from placing film noir tropes within a bizarre world where the authors of greeting cards are publicly lauded for their work. The wild absurdity of the premise is handled with a straight face at each and every turn. None of the wide array of comedic actors to appear in the movie give away that they’re in on the joke which is why the goofiness works as well as it does. However, it’s quite apparent that I fell for Girlfriend’s Day because I am familiar with the film noir origins and the straight-faced absurdity speaks to what I like in comedies of this style.

Because Girlfriend’s Day is a 70-minute movie and not a 5-minute sketch, it doesn’t sustain its comedic energy with an even flow from start to finish. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a wildly entertaining piece of comedic filmmaking intended for a very narrow, very specific audience. If you’re a fan of Mr. Show and classic film noir, Girlfriend’s Day will have you cracking up as it subverts the genre it’s spoofing with loving glee.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

One Response

  1. Fauna February 18, 2017 Reply

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Riley Keough
Riley Keough Explains Her Revved Up Work in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Logan Lucky’

Over the past few years, few actors have had such a...

Brett Gelman Janicza Bravo
Brett Gelman and Janicza Bravo Discuss the Off-Putting Humor Behind ‘Lemon’

The new film Lemon from director Janicza Bravo and co-writer and...

‘Baywatch’ Washes Ashore August 29th

The movie adaptation of Baywatch had everything going for it…casting-wise. You...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
This Week In Gaming News August 12th to 18th 2017

Gaming News will be streamlined into a weekly piece starting next...

Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within
Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within Episode One Available Now

Define your own Bruce Wayne and reshape The Joker in the...

atgames
AtGames Announces Pre-orders for New Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis

Pre-orders started for the new Atari Flashback 8 Gold and Sega...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
viz
VIZ Media Announces New Digital Manga Content For August Update

VIZ Media details digital manga updates for August highlighted by the...

viz
VIZ Media Announces New Manga and Literary Acquisitions At Anime Expo

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a premier company in the fields of...

9.0/10
Supergirl Makes Contact in ‘Supergirl Being Super’

Title: Supergirl Being Super #4 Writer: Mariko Tamaki Artist: Joelle Jones...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Ay Caramba!Penny Skateboards Join Up with The Simpson’s

After 30 years, 618 episodes (and counting), 32 Emmy Awards, and...

Sensei 310
SteelSeries Sensei 310 and Rival 310 Gaming Mice

SteelSeries Unveils the First, True 1-to-1 Esports Gaming Mouse Sensor Exclusively...

Alter Ego Release Groot and Deadpool for SDCC

From Alter Ego – Cary, NC: Florida based lifestyle accessories company,...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Mayweather and McGregor Previous Fights Now On Demand on Cable, Plus Interviews, Workouts and More

From iN DEMAND – New York, Aug. 17 – Before the...

Rumble on the Water 2 Delivers Punching Power

July 29, 2017 – Long Beach, CA – The Queen Mary...

UFC Star Jon ‘Bones’ Jones Releases Emoji App – BonesMoji

From BonesMoji – Los Angeles, CA., July 27, 2017 – One...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
CULTURAL JUNK DRAWER SDCC 2017 86.3% TRUE RECAP!

A totally true recap of the most important geek cultural even...

Comics on the Can: Schick Hydrobot and the Transformers

Written by John Barber, Pencils by Steve Kurth, Inks by Juan...

Star Wars Themed Lands Will be the Perfect Safe House for the Rebellion and the First Order

Disney’s D23 Expo has revealed a lot of what is to...

Event News Event Reviews
The Third Annual ‘BeerX’ from 91X in San Diego Featured Sunburns and Beer Goggles

This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual BeerX, presented by...

anime film festival
LA-Anime Film Festival Kicks Off to Celebrate 100 Years of Anime Films

Los Angeles Anime Film Festival (LA-AFF), presented by international creative company...

stan lee
Extraordinary: Stan Lee at The Saban Theatre

Comedian, Nerdist CEO, and podcast extraordinaire Chris Hardwick will lead a roster of...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Lahna Turner’s ‘Limeade’ is a Hilariously Haunting Comedy Album

Many people are roll their eyes at the idea of musical...

Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

On Friday, April 21st, it will be one year since we...

Sabroso Fest, How can you go Wrong with Beer, Tacos and Lucha Libre!?!(Photo Gallery)

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival sponsored by 95.5...