The Nice Guys screening @ USC


The yellow dress caught my eye.

Looked like one I bought a few years ago, planned to wear to a UCLA related event a family friend invited me to.

70s halter, gathered bust, wrap bias cut front.

Dress never did go out. I wonder if it did in its past life.

Anyway, I found myself laughing at the trailers, the ones they played during the NBA playoffs. I looked up the title, the logline sounded interesting. L.A., private eye, death, corruption. My cup of tea.

Unfortunately, I had a same day audition. Missed a big chunk of the beginning. Luckily the girl at the desk let me look for standing room when I arrived.

There are moments of character and suspense, but never depression nor dread, it entertains first and foremost. Lighter than other corruption themed flicks such as LA Confidential or Chinatown, it still earns its R rating; there’s swearing, sex, violence. Black is good at revving up tension, snapping the action, punctuating with a laugh. It’s a getaway for a couple hours with touches of the high life—music, parties, cars, women. For the women? Well, you get Gosling. Who my sister has ardently argued is not her ideal star because of his looks, but depth and breadth of character, artistic integrity, and general awesomeness.

Here, Gosling’s balletic inelegance, smooth pratfalls and double takes, could be likened to any number of old school leading men with a knack for comedy. But the rhythm and tenor of his performance, his voice even, mt first thought was Paul Newman’s Butch Cassidy.


Russell Crowe, the straight man to Gosling, plays a sort of Dirty Harry, John Wayne type, with
awkward attempts at chivalry and interacting with people in a way that doesn’t include bashing their face in. [He has a more Léon type relationship with the young daughter in the movie (she searches for the good in him, is more tender), while with Gosling’s character there’s a more Paper Moon feel.] Sorry, like a nesting doll there

It was my first Shane Black movie. Since I started pursuing acting, I generally watch older movies when unwinding. But I knew his name, mentioned not unusually in a screenwriting forum I hung out on back when I thought I’d get into the business as a writer. Well. I should say I liked the idea of writing. I never imagined a screenplay card.

Regardless, I’m always open to inspiration or technique or general advice on the process.

The Q&A provided all the above.

Mr. Black left little room for doubt, as his personality filled the room with live wire energy, like a second year student showing some frosh the ropes.

With a wry chaser of reality, Mr. Black embraced the audience, said that being there gave to him, that it wasn’t just them getting something from this. I believe he used the word “love.”

I laughed, caught off guard—people usually play close to the vest, anything like that would have usually been in jest, perhaps PR.

But I think he meant it. Idealistic. Hopeful.

It was a nice to see.

Anyway, The Nice Guys is fun. Recommended.