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The first reviews of Dan Levy’s star-studded Netflix directorial debut are in

The actor and writer's highly-anticipated directorial debut is finally here...

The first reviews of Dan Levy’s star-studded Netflix directorial debut are in
Danielle de Wolfe
29 December 2023

The internet has been abuzz since Dan Levy revealed his plans for Netflix directorial debut Good Grief.

The Schitt's Creek co-creator's latest project sees him don the hats of actor, director and producer, with the feature-length debut poised to hit the streaming service on January 5.

Starring Luke Evans, Himesh Patel, Oscar nominee Ruth Negga, alongside Harry Potter stars Celia Imrie and David Bradley to name but a few, the highly-anticipated feature has comedy and rom-com fans alike intrigued by the premise.

In short, the new feature-length project follows Levy, a bereaved widower, as he embarks on a weekend of self-discovery in the City of Love.

“A lot of people think I'm a comic. And I'm not,” Levy told Netflix in a recent interview ahead of the film's launch.

“I've always been a slightly more emo person than people realize. So I’ve had to reconcile this outward persona, the David Rose persona that everyone seems to think is me.”

And it seems the reviews are widely positive - despite highlighting a handful of cliches that creep in.

The first reviews of Dan Levy’s star-studded Netflix directorial debut are in

Having recently starred in the latest series of the Netflix acquired Sex Education, this thoroughly British cast continues the actor's penchant for film on this side of the Atlantic.

So far, it's a pleasant but luke warm bag where reviews are concerned.

Deadline writes: "Considering his hilarious multiple Emmy-winning work on Schitt’s Creek, this markedly different feature filmmaking debut as writer-director-producer and star from Daniel Levy is a revelation — and a welcome one."

"Although this offers plenty of melodramatic opportunities for Levy, he fortunately resists laying on the soapy elements," it continues, adding of Levy: "The guy is a quadruple threat and an assured talent."

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter describes the film as "if not a Christmas movie, then a Christmas-adjacent one", adding the release contains moments of "jarring" and "heavy-handed satire" where particular funeral scenes are concerned.

It adds that glittering scenes of Paris are "characteristic of a movie that dresses up familiar relationship drama by superficial means while too seldom going beyond platitudes or pop-psych talking points about how we process grief or how indispensable trusted friends can be in working through emotional crises."

"There’s certainly no reason to question the sincerity of Levy’s intentions. But he hasn’t managed to flesh out all the emo talk into compelling drama, making a film that’s passable as streaming fodder (it hits Netflix Jan. 5, after a week in select theaters), though not sufficiently distinctive to draw you in and make you care much about its characters."

Writing of the project, Variety describes the feature's lead characters as "well rounded and real, especially in their imperfections", adding the release is a positive where Levy's abilities are concerned.

"“Good Grief” shows he can be vulnerable and wise as well," Peter Debuge writes.

Awarding the Netflix release three stars, The Telegraph adds that "for his feature debut, Dan Levy has crafted a manicured comedy-drama in which the splashy decor pulls focus from the pathos."

Yahoo also gave it a mixed bag of feedback when it came to the release. "Where we might expect a reliable volley of catty putdowns and farcical misunderstandings, we instead get an earnest, overcast take on gay love and loss.

"There’s something ever-so-chic, a touch too manicured about the film’s despondency, and only rare moments land to touch us, especially. But it’s a gentle, genial watch.

Good Grief lands on Netflix on January 5, 2024