Green Book

[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

It won the Oscar for 2018's Best Picture! So what if I liked Black Panther better? This is still pretty good. And the IMDB raters have it at number 123 on their list of best movies of all time.

But approximately 1942 naysayers started their reviews with "It's like Driving Miss Daisy, except that…".

It's also kind of like The Odd Couple.

Viggo Mortensen plays "Tony Lip", maitre'd/bouncer at the Copacabana. While the club is being renovated, he's out of a job. Fortuitously, an offer comes in: famed pianist Don Shirley is going on a tour in the Deep South, and needs a driver/gofer. A deal is struck.

Complicating things: (1) it's the early sixties; (2) Don is an African-American; (3) as it develops, he's also gay; (4) Tony's the kind of guy who'll throw away perfectly good glasses because his wife let a couple of black plumbers drink from them.

It's based on a true story, but I can imagine the script nearly wrote itself. There's gonna be continuing culture/race-based clashes between Tony and Don. Each will Learn Things, Grudging Respect will be earned, eventually Steadfast Friendship will be established. So, no real surprises.

But the acting is first rate. (Viggo Mortenson plays Tony, Mahershala Ali plays Don.) Peter Farrelly co-wrote, co-produced, and directed; that's quite a change for a guy whose previous movie was Dumb and Dumber To.

Bottom line: very watchable.