The TMINE multiplex: Good on Paper (2021), Doctor Liza (2020), Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) and Incident by a Bank (2010)

In which Nat talks briefly about the movies she’s been watching this week for no particular reason and that probably don’t warrant proper reviews, but hey? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all chatted about them anyway?

Heya! How have you all been this week? Get up to anything nice at the weekend? I didn’t manage to make it to the cinema, unfortunately, because honestly, none of the films really interested me.

I’d have quite liked to have seen The 355 (2022) – lots of famous older actresses, including Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Lupita Nyong’o get to be international spies, plus I’m always partial to Sebastian Stan – but my local preferred indie didn’t have it, which would have meant a trip to the (literal) depths of the Vue. Blurgh!

So I didn’t. Fortunately, the goddesses – bless them all – invented pubs and restaurants for a reason, which made my weekend pass very nicely indeed all the same!

But I have watched a whole bunch of movies, at least. More or less one for each of my supposedly regular screens.

In Screen 1, we have a Netflix original, Good on Paper (2021), which is written by and stars my favourite stand-up Iliza Shlesinger, and is based on both a real-life event and one of her sets.

In Screen 2, it’s Russian cinema time with Доктор Лиза (Doctor Liza) (2020), a biopic of sorts about real-life heroine Елизаве́та Петро́вна Гли́нка.

In Screen 3, it’s time to rewatch a ‘classic’: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), despite it being the bane of redheads everywhere for more than three decades now.

And finally, because I didn’t manage to watch Boiling Point (2022) as I wanted, I decided to take in another single-shot movie for our short-movie screen, Screen 4: Händelse vid bank (Incident by a Bank) (2010).

See you after the jump! But first, can I see your tickets, please? Sorry, is the app not working? Yeah, the WiFi down here is really bad, isn’t it? Soz. If you swipe… yes and then… is it not in your wallet app? Maybe your email? You know what, just go in, hey?

Screen 1: Good on Paper (2021)

Available on Netflix


Director: Kimmy Gatewood
Writer: Iliza Shlesinger


After years of putting her career ahead of love, stand-up comic Andrea Singer has stumbled upon the perfect guy. On paper, he checks all the boxes but is he everything he appears to be?

Nat says: ‘A romcom, without much rom or com, but still compelling’

I love Iliza Shlesinger. She won US stand-up competition Last Comic Standing back in 2008 and has continued to do smart, witty, female comedy ever since. Even when she’s doing the stereotypical, ‘Guys do this and girls do this’ type of jokes (which is most of the time, admittedly), she still manages to put a feminist twist on it, sometimes deeply so. She also does get impressions of birds, which I admit is a niche reason for loving her, but I don’t care. If you want to watch her routines, Netflix is full of her shows.

Which is why I was looking forward to watching Good on Paper, which she wrote based on a real incident that she’d already turned into a routine she did on Comedy Central a few years ago.

I wouldn’t say I was disappointed by Good on Paper, since it is quite funny and it’s still recognisably her voice at work. But it’s not as hilarious as one of her shows.

Here she plays a stand-up looking to get into TV acting for the previous nine years. She auditions for shows such as Space Cadet, in which she would play a human who pretends to be an alien to get into their training cadet, but invariably gets beaten by a supposedly hotter, blonder actress (Rebecca Rittenhouse). She’s also unlucky in love, but one day, she meets an okayish-looking guy (Ryan Hansen) who seems nice. He has a model for a girlfriend, went to Yale, runs a hedge fund and he’s happy to help her learn her lines when his girlfriend stands him up. Is he boyfriend material? Maybe not, but is it a bad idea to hang around him?

I really enjoyed this relationship, since she doesn’t give any quarter and plays up her intelligence the whole time. That intelligence also goes to good work analysing the whole situation and the increasing number of holes in his story: the breaking down of his Yale backstory based on some really niche knowledge about Yale is a particular highlight. There are also cuts to her stand-up routines, which show off how good she is on stage.

I think more importantly, the story doesn’t go where you think it’s going to go. I won’t spoil it for you, but it gets darker, without every getting nasty, and it doesn’t end up at the expected destination of so many romcoms, either.

But those plot choices mean it’s also not that funny much of the time, more disturbing. And a lot of the time, your ‘guydar’ is going off, giving you really bad vibes about him the whole time. It made me tense the whole way through. Where is this going? WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO? WHAT’S HE GOING TO TURN OUT TO BE?

In fact, without all those stand-up skits, there wouldn’t be that much comedy, beyond some good one-liners. There’s also almost no romance, even when the two of them are together, so you’ve never really routing for them to get together.

That makes Good on Point good on paper, just not so much fun to watch. I’m glad Iliza got to make her first film, at least. Hopefully, over time, she’ll be able to craft something funnier.

Screen 2: Доктор Лиза (Doctor Liza) (2020)

Available on Amazon Prime


Directed by Oksana Karas
Written by Aleksey Ilyushkin


This is the story of one day in the life of Elizabeth Glinka, the head of “Fair Care” foundation, a philanthropist, a doctor and a human rights activist. As the day starts, Elizaveta and her husband Gleb are going to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Liza is planning to spend some time with her family, waiting for her sons and close friends to arrive. The last thing to do is to drop by Paveletsky train station to check the campaign of the Fund for sending humanitarian supplies to people in need. Suddenly, she is addressed by the father of a girl suffering from a severe disease, and Doctor Lisa agrees to help. This request yields lots of unexpected circumstances into the well-planned day.

Nat says: ‘A perplexing idea but an informative study of a real-life heroine’

Biopics are generally biographical. Is that a crazy statement? I don’t think so. You make a film about someone that shows incidents in their lifetimes. Maybe you change them a little, combine a couple of people, but largely, what you see on screen is supposed to be true.

In the age of Пу́тин and his flexible approach to truth and reality, maybe this is a suitably Russian movie for our times. It’s a biopic that’s more like an artistic impression of a real person, illustrating what they were like without ever depicting something that actually happened.

Елизаве́та Петро́вна Гли́нка – the Doctor Liza of the title – was a real Russian doctor who ran a foundation that helped the poor and those in need navigate the arcane labyrinth of the Russian healthcare system. This movie imagines a day in her life in which she goes from incident to incident in Moscow, while being investigated by the ФСБ for stealing morphine to help a patient. The officer assigned to her has orders to find incriminating evidence to remove this thorn from the authorities’ side, which he does his best to find. But as he sees what she does, will he change his mind about whether to follow his orders?

All of this is set against a depiction of her loving family life, with her husband and her trying to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. They’ve also adopted a new son, something the authorities are trying to use against by insisting, for example, that they see every single vaccination certificate she has.

This artificial ‘day in a life’ that never happened is an interesting experiment, since it enables us to see all the sorts of things she did, even if she never did them all at the same time in the same day, while also upping the stakes in the drama. It gives the filmmakers greater latitude in how they depict the failings of the Russian healthcare system and the politics Гли́нка had to navigate to get money, supplies and favours for her foundation.

Unfortunately, it also turns Гли́нка into a sort of Mother Theresa figure. Even when she’s doing wrong, she can do no wrong, making it hard to take anything at face value. The incidents depicted, such as a man needing morphine for his pain-wracked daughter and not being able to get any because the only pharmacy where his prescription is valid has run out or the homeless man who’s lost his memory but who may be able to save lives, are such clear-cut, black and white cases of morality, there’s no way you can do anything except route for her.

Even the biographical details are blurry: her husband, Глеб Глебович Глинка, who is described as ‘an American’ in the movie, is played by a Polish actor (Andrzej Chyra) and was actually of Russian origin, being the son of Russian poet Глеб Александрович Глинка.

Curiously, I still found all of this worked for me. Even if I don’t know anything really true about her, beyond how many members of her family she had and the name of her foundation, I now have an understanding of the sort of person she was and what she did.

Largely, this is a heart-warming film about a real-life heroine. Everything turns out nicely, as you’d hope, with even the ФСБ officer proving to be heart-warming. Then right at the end, you find out how she died. I cried buckets for this woman, even though I couldn’t trust at thing I’d seen on screen. That shows you how powerful a tribute it is to her.

Screen 3: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Available on Disney+


Director: Robert Zemeckis


Gary K Wolf(novel “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?”)
Jeffrey Price(screenplay)
Peter S Seaman(screenplay)


A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit’s only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

Nat says: ‘An interesting experiment, but a creepy one’

I won’t say too much about this, other than to quote Jurassic Park (1993):

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? feels like it was an effort to capitalise on the late 80s’ movie industry’s ability to mix cartoon and live-action on film. But without really thinking how that should be done.

What we have is a 1940s style detective potboiler set in a world in which characters in cartoons are real and mix with humans. A PI (Bob Hoskins) with a grudge against ‘toons’ has to investigate a murder, with Hollywood superstar toon Roger Rabbit the main suspect.

The first half is really all world-building, trying to play off cartoons and their rules against those of the 1940s film noir. It’s quite dark stuff and you do wonder who it was aimed at? Cute toons are murdered, there’s rampant misogyny and sexuality that’s definitely not for kids. Then there’s the Toon who’s officially the “third most popular request made for Halloween costumes to redheads who like movies” – at least when I was at uni – Jessica Rabbit.

Nope. Never did. Ariel from The Little Mermaid for sure, though. With those meme glasses.

But Jessica Rabbit? Definitely not for kids.

So who was it aimed at? Even the dialogue was archaic for the time, with jokes about toons wearing ‘gorilla suits’. And the plot, if it was aimed at adults, is really poor, even by the standards of crime dramas, as even I managed to guess whodunnit and I never manage that.

It feels like an idea that spiralled, to me.

The second half of the movie, once it heads to ‘Toontown’ and we get cameos from Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and others, works a whole lot better though. The jokes land, the story becomes more fun, there’s a whole lot less mean-ness. It’s actually quite a fun little movie.

As a comedy then, it’s flawed. It sort of works, but it now feels so antiquated. The central gimmick isn’t enough to carry a movie now, its jokes now require you to have a knowledge of the 40s movie industry that will be elusive to most – poor Betty Boop being used to make a sideways commentary on the arrival of the talkies, for example – and its politics leave a lot to be desired.

Bob Hoskins is great, though.

Probably one for those who grew up in the 80s.

Screen 4: Händelse vid bank (Incident by a Bank) (2010)

Available on MUBI and on Vimeo (see below)


Director: Ruben Östlund
Writer: Ruben Östlund(screenplay)


Incident by a Bank is a detailed account of a failed bank robbery: A single take where over 90 people perform a meticulous choreography for the camera. The film recreates an actual event that took place in Stockholm in June 2006.

Nat says: ‘Technically interesting. I’m damning with faint praise there, aren’t I?’

This is less a movie, more an exercise in project management. Although it recreates a real failed bank robbery, its merits are that it was shot in a single take, with whole legions of actors and extras required to synchronise their actions to pull off the stunt.

Which sounds fun, doesn’t it? And clever. But… it’s 10 minutes of zooming, panning, people pointing at things out of shot, and you trying to see if there’s something you’re missing… oh wait, yes, on the first floor of that building! Was that what I was supposed to be seeing?

Which I admit was fascinating and kind of fun, but not necessarily the best movie experience possible.

You can watch it all below. Give it a few watches, and I’m sure you’ll see more every time. It’s a bit of fun, but not going to in any way change your life. But at 10 minutes, what more could you expect? So just enjoy it!


  • Natalia Romanova

    The Gloria Steinem of the jumpsuit set. Russian ballerina-assassin. Redheaded Scarlett Johansson look-alike (yes, really. No, I won't send you photos). TMINE's publisher and Official Movie Reviewer in Residence. I've written for numerous magazines, including Death Ray and Filmstar, and I've been a contributor to TMINE since I was at university and first discovered I really wanted to write about movies, oh so many years ago. Sob.