Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the film Good Grief.
Actor, producer, and director Dan Levy may be known for his comedic abilities, but he showcased his wide range with the Netflix film Good Grief. Delving into Marc's (played by Dan) journey, the film navigates his life after losing his husband to a tragic car crash. As the story unfolds, it dives into the events that follow Marc's realization that you can navigate grief and, to some extent, overcome it.
While Marc initially struggles with losing his other half (and learning that he was involved with another man), the ending of Good Grief takes quite a turn, providing viewers with some valuable messages. Let’s jump into the ending of Good Grief and what happens to Sophie (Ruth Negga), Marc, and Thomas (Himesh Patel).
Netflix’s ‘Good Grief’ reminds us not to let grief impede our way of living.
If you’ve put aside a hobby or let a friendship fall flat after experiencing loss, you aren’t alone. Sometimes, it’s an instant reaction to death to let a part of ourselves die off, which can, in turn, have a snowball effect on your relationships and abilities.
Fortunately, at the end of Good Grief, Marc realizes you can’t let death stand in the way of living. Upon Theo's suggestion (Arnaud Valois), Marc rekindles his passion for painting and even hosts his very own art exhibition showcasing pieces that beautifully capture individuals who have influenced his life. (Side note: Dan Levy didn’t actually paint the portraits featured at the end of Good Grief, Kris Knight did.)
While it wasn’t Oliver’s (Luke Evans) death that prompted Marc to stop painting (it was the passing of his mother), it did get him back on track with it. Loss can (and should) be difficult to navigate but we shouldn’t let it overshadow our goals and capabilities. If anything, we should use the anger, sadness, and any other emotions loss conjures up to push us to lead an even more fulfilling life.
How did Marc know about his husband’s affair in ‘Good Grief’?
Marc learned of Oliver’s affair after reading the letter (months later) he had given him moments before he was killed in a car accident. Although Marc had agreed to an open marriage, he was heartbroken and shocked that Oliver had developed feelings for someone else, which wasn’t part of the agreement they had in place.
Fortunately, Marc’s friends and friendships strengthen at the end of ‘Good Grief.’
Marc learns the true value of friendship after allowing the effects of his grieving to come between him and Thomas. As most of us can attest, good friends are hard to come by, and while they should be considerate of how one grieves, the loss itself can’t be used as an excuse to ignore their thoughts and feelings.
Marc realizes this and shows his appreciation for Thomas and the companionship he has continuously provided him through his art. As for Sophie, she learns you can’t just skip through life without accountability (you can, but you’ll have a hard time achieving success). Throughout the movie, Sophie struggles to get her life in order, but by the end of the film, she accepts the responsibilities that come with leading a well-balanced life and gets back with Terrence.
The final scenes of Good Grief represent Marc and his friends’ ability to move forward in life no matter how difficult it can get and underscore the growth each makes in the process.
Is ‘Good Grief’ based on a true story?
Dan used the loss of his grandmother as inspiration to write and produce Good Grief, the actor revealed during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "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," Dan admitted.
The Schitt’s Creek writer and producer had also lost his dog around the same time. "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,” he explained to EW.
Good Grief is now available to stream on Netflix. Brace yourself for a heartfelt experience, and don’t forget to keep a few tissues nearby!