'Good Boy' Melds Fertility Struggles & Judy Greer's Charm with a Killer Emotional Support Animal
June 30, 2020
Hulu’s partnership with Blumhouse to create the original series of feature-length horror episodes we know as Into the Dark has brought some excellent horror/comedy/subtle social commentary to the forefront of the streamer and to Blumhouse fans everywhere. Good Boy is no exception. The cross-genre film brings us an angst-filled Judy Greer who longs for a baby as she faces a very loud ticking biological clock.
Right when Greer’s character Maggie decides to pull the trigger and pay for egg harvesting, her life starts to fall apart: Her journalism job at a local publication is threatened by the digital landscape (and the ineptness of a very funny and unrecognizable Steve Guttenberg as her boss), she’s dating clueless guys who just want sex, and her landlord keeps inventing ways to overcharge her at her modest Reseda apartment complex. To say Maggie’s life has become anxiety-inducing is an understatement. Guttenberg’s character then suggests Maggie consider an emotional support dog.
Maggie heads to a shelter and adopts the most adorable dog in the lineup. She dubs him Reuben and there are several very funny sequences of Greer and Reuben happily running together, wearing matching pajamas, and just generally making each other happy under the mutual loving gaze of dog and owner. But this is a horror movie after all, and Reuben soon shows he’ll stop at nothing to ensure that no one will stand in the way of Maggie’s happiness and success.
Act One’s inciting incident injects the film with its first real shot of horror when Maggie has Reuben accompany her on a date. When the guy turns predatory toward Maggie, her dog turns predatory toward him. Maggie flees the date looking for a lost Reuben and soon discovers her date dead in the middle of the road. Reuben sits next to the man covered in blood, managing to play sweet and innocent better than any actor ever could. Maggie reports on the sleepy valley scoop and finds success with the gory headline at her reporting job. The plot soon escalates as every time Reuben performs a gruesome murder, Maggie’s life gets monumentally better, leading the audience to root for Maggie and her murderous companion (mainly through Greer’s undeniable charm).
The filmmakers recruited Greer to star in Good Boy in a way that sounds like a story straight out of their movie: The writing team, Aaron Eisenberg and Will Eisenberg, ran into Greer’s dog at a coffee shop and after a moment, realized the dog belonged to Greer. They pitched Greer the script and she was taken with the story. Aaron Eisenberg stated the film was slightly inspired by his own experience of becoming extremely attached to his emotional support dog.
Ultimately, Good Boy begs the question, “Can a dog can fill all of a woman’s emotional needs, even if he’s a cold-blooded killer?” And, “How far will an owner go to cover for her dog?” A ridiculous premise to be sure; but a fun romp nonetheless, with Greer leading the way.
Written by: Lindsay StidhamLindsay holds an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. She has overseen two scripts from script to screen as a writer/ producer. SPOONER, starring Matthew Lillard (SLAMDANCE), and DOUCHEBAG (SUNDANCE) both released theatrically. Most recently Lindsay sold PLAY NICE starring Mary Lynn Rajskub. The series was distributed on Hulu. Recent directing endeavors include the Walla Walla premiering (and best screenplay nominated) TIL DEATH DO US PART, and the music video for Bible Belt’s Tomorrow All Today. Lindsay is currently working on an interactive romcom for the production company Effin' Funny, and a feature film script for Smarty Pants Pictures. Lindsay also currently works as an Adjunct Screenwriting Faculty member at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. You can follow her work here: https://lindsaystidham.onfabrik.com/