It’s easy to feel cynical about the latest tearjerker from Netflix, admittedly, but we’re going to go out on a limb, channel our inner Norman Rockwell meme, and propose that the newest Dan Levy production is something worth getting excited about. “Good Grief” might bear all the hallmarks of countless grief-stricken melodramas in years past (including an impromptu getaway to the most romantic and melancholy of all European cities, Paris!), but it’s also true that marketing for these sorts of films can be notoriously tricky. Whatever the case, Levy has lined up an absolutely stacked cast of talented character actors to bring this story to life — one that, as Levy himself explained to Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview, comes from a deeply personal place with ties to loss he experienced during the pandemic. As he put it:
“I lost my grandmother toward the tail end of the pandemic, and I was in a very strange headspace in terms of feeling the weight and the profound sense of tragedy of what the COVID pandemic had done for all of us, while at the same time trying to honor the passing of someone who meant so much to me. It was hard for me to feel the specificity of loss when all I was feeling was grief for so long. It was that conversation that really expedited the concept of the movie.”
Levy’s also quick to dispute the notion that this is a rom-com, instead describing “Good Grief” as “a drama or a dramedy.” That tone is certainly evident in the footage, but viewers will be able to decide for themselves soon enough.
“Good Grief” comes to select theaters on December 29, 2023 ahead of its Netflix debut on January 5, 2024.