Paddleton (2019)

When I first saw Paddleton on my Netflix homepage, I thought, oh god, another Netflix original that will probably suck, and I skipped it. Days later, I was wandering on IMDb and I stumbled upon it, the rating was pretty good —7.2— so I checked it out. 

The film follows Andy (Ray Romano) and his neighbour and friend Michael (Mark Duplass) who, in the opening scene, learns that he has terminal cancer. Forced to weigh his options and not wanting to let the illness take him, Michael opts for prescribed suicide and asks Andy to help him to it.

As you have probably guessed, Paddleton isn't a plot-heavy film as there isn't anything else other than the short synopsis above. That said, the story is such a beautiful one, one of the most touching of the year so far as it's a poignant story of a friendship between two lonely men, a simple story that gets to you as it slowly unfolds and makes you feel like you're part of it, like you're going through the same journey as the characters.

Which brings me to the best part of Paddleton, the characters. Andy and Michael are two kind of quirky, awkward people presented as two ordinary men because that's what they are. There's nothing extraordinary about them, nothing that makes them worthy of being main characters, some people would say as they aren't particularly interesting —actuall, they are pretty insignificant. It's their simplicity, their normality that makes them real, believable and makes you care about them as much as they care for each other.

Mark Duplass and director Alex Lehmann sure did a great job writing the script, but the film wouldn't be the same if the actors didn't do such a good job. Mark Duplass is great as Michael with a calm, never over-the-top performance. Ray Romano is the standout though as he's able to deliver humour and plenty of emotions —and seeing him sad is one of the saddest things ever. And the chemistry between them is excellent.

If you are one of those people who skipped this afraid of it being another bland Netflix original, please give it a shot and you won't regret it as Paddleton is a bittersweet, emotional, poignant film with natural dialogue —most of it is improvised—, natural performances and a good balance of awkwardness, humour and seriousness. A beautiful, touching and honest portrayal of friendship.


  1. This movie is popping up everywhere and I keep thinking everyone's just miss-spelling Paddington! It sounds well worth a watch though, I'll be giving it a go soon :)

    1. Lol Paddleton is a game the characters invented by the way

  2. REALLY glad you liked this one. I'm such a big fan of it. I've seen it twice now and both times I've been drawn to its warmth and authenticity. Glad to see someone else talking about it.