Good Posture – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

Tribeca Film Festival Coverage

Good Posture - Title Card
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Is a movie about a reclusive writer, with limited social skills, and a young woman, with limited life skills worth seeing? Read our review to know.

Director(s) Dolly Wells
Screenplay By Dolly Wells
Date Released 4/27/2019
Genre(s) Coming of Age, Drama, Comedy
Good If You Like Movies Focusing On A Young Woman

Films With A Small Cast

Genuine Investment In A Young Woman Finding Herself Rather Than Adults Taking Advantage Of Her

Isn’t For You If You Aren’t Into Watching A Young Privileged Woman Deal With Life
Noted Cast
Nate Gary Richardson
Lillian Grace Van Patten
Neil Norbert Leo Butz
Don Ebon Moss Bachrach
Julia Emily Mortimer
George Timm Sharp
Herself Zadie Smith
Himself Johnathan Ames
Himself Martin Amis

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Good Posture Plot Summary

After 2 years with her boyfriend Nate, and just moving to New York to be together, Lillian finds herself broken up with and technically homeless. But what saves her from living in the subway, and making this a completely different movie, is that her father, Neil, is a powerful man. One that Don, a musician, would like to impress. So, without telling his wife Julia, an illustrious writer, he invites this late teen, early 20 something into their home and creates a major conflict between the two, especially since Don grows close to Julia. However, when he goes away, the ladies are mostly left alone and forced to figure out a way to communicate. Something which Julia puts into place in the least interactive way possible and Lillian rolls with, with a pinch of snark.


The Men Aren’t Creepy

George (Timm Sharp) and Lillian (Grace Van Patten) talking in the park.
George (Timm Sharp) and Lillian (Grace Van Patten)

It isn’t explicit how old Lillian is, but let’s just say she is a young girl with daddy issues. Making it so, especially taking note she primarily interacts with older men, it makes you thankful the men don’t take advantage of her. In fact, while none of them act as most older men do in films like this, acting as mentors and things of that nature, there is a sort of comradery you learn to appreciate. For rather than be treated as a sex object or daughter, they recognize her as an adult. One which they can have a conversation with, perhaps even learn from, and it is in those moments you realize as immature as Lillian can seem, she isn’t a invalid.

As Much As Lillian Is Noted As Spoiled, or Entitled, You Come To Realize That Isn’t 100% True

If anything, when it comes to Lillian, you can see a sort of dependency which stems from her relationship with her mother, or lack thereof, as well as the relationship she has with her dad. One which made it so she likely had to grow up faster than she wanted and rather than your usual, “She grew up and was like a mini-adult” she instead did the best she could. Making it so, monetarily, she is likely spoiled and entitled. However, in terms of time and effort from her parents? She is anything but.

Hence the way her relationship with Nate was, and what we saw with George and Don. There was a certain craving for attention, intimacy, just plain ole conversation, since that was one of the many things she couldn’t be bought from her parents. Plus, when you add in seeing her change when Julia points certain things out, or George does, you realize how isolated her upbringing probably was. Making it so, at her present age, she is likely suffering from not having anyone teach her basic life skills or etiquette and while she is willing to catch up, no one, previously, provided her with the kind of hand-holding most kids get.

Thus, when it came to Nate, it likely created this weird interaction of loving this person, for they are giving you what you were deprived of growing up, yet that being matched with feeling like you’re dating the father you should have had.

How Julia & Lillian Slowly Connect With One Another

Some ground rules Julia wrote for Lillian.

There are less than 5 scenes Julia and Lillian physically share, and while that may sound weird, you realize how much each character eventually means to each other. For Julia, considering something that happened which inspired the book Good Posture, you see her almost living vicariously by having Lillian in her home rather than kick her out. Also, when it comes to Lillian, while things are weird in Julia’s home, it is probably the closest thing to stability and some form of accountability she has ever gotten. That is, without her issues either having money thrown at them or sex being involved.

So as you see them come to an understanding, with the help of writers Zadie Smith, Martin Amis, and Johnathan Ames to guide Lillian, you realize they are essentially what both lost in life. Making the few weeks they are together almost like an alternate reality. One that, after realizing they could have this relationship that has long been absent in their life, it seems like they experience a wake-up call.


With Lillian wanting to get serious about her film background, she hires Sol to assist her. Needless to say, this man is a flaming hot mess. One who delivers most of the comedy, that people who aren’t from New York may laugh at. And I wish I could explain how he is funny better, but let’s just say it is rooted in him being forward and blissfully ignorant.

On The Fence

I Can’t Say The Ending Is Satisfying

Lillian (Grace Van Patten) looking over her shoulder.
Lillian (Grace Van Patten)

Good Posture is made to address Lillian’s privilege but not act like, after 20 some odd years, a few weeks can have her do a 180. So keep in mind that while she does grow as a person, you won’t be getting in your feelings about how far she came. There are some sweet milestones, but nothing to make you think she’ll be fine and can truly call herself an adult.

Good Posture Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Van Patten continues to show herself as a capable lead who, whether playing the role as someone’s kid, a person finding themselves, or likely whatever else thrown at her, she’ll handle with charisma and empathy. As for her peers, arguably they mostly act in sharpening her blade more so than any of them really standing out. Though one could argue in Mortimer’s silence, and her one moment of opening up, it is like watching a tree weather the winter and bloom in the spring.

Hence the positive label. Unlike many a coming of age story, especially with young women, you don’t feel like a man, or men, are what triggers the wake-up call. If anything, it is the purest thing that is necessary for anyone to mature and develop as a person – nurture. And in watching Lillian experience that, albeit in an unconventional way, we see Van Patten and her peers create a character who, money aside, is easy to connect. Also, who acts as the perfect medium to inspire investment in the supporting characters.

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How Would You Rate This?

Negative Mixed Positive

The Men Aren’t Creepy
90 %
As Much As Lillian Is Noted As Spoiled, or Entitled, You Come To Realize That Isn’t 100% True
91 %
How Julia & Lillian Slowly Connect With One Another
89 %
85 %
I Can’t Say The Ending Is Satisfying
79 %
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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