Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the film Good Grief.
Finding out your husband died moments after the two of you had just celebrated together at your annual Christmas party is hard enough to digest. But learning that he was having a full-blown affair he wanted to further explore and had a secret apartment in Paris only makes the pill tougher to swallow.
In the Netflix film Good Grief, written, directed, and produced by the one and only Dan Levy, we watch Marc (Levy) invite his two closest friends on a trip to Paris a short time after his husband dies in a car crash. While some might interpret Marc’s Paris trip as a way for him to get closer to his now-deceased partner, others may think he’s just trying to do some digging into Oliver’s (Luke Evans) double life. Here’s our take.
Marc likely takes a trip to Paris in ‘Good Grief’ to see where his husband's affair played out.
While plenty might argue that Marc was wrong for planning a “friend getaway” with his closest pals — and not telling them the real reason why — I believe everyone is entitled to grieve in their own way. And if that means not dishing all the details on your marriage and deceased husband, then so be it.
Losing someone you love and adore is one of the hardest obstacles life can throw at you. Your heart feels like it's been thrown into an endless loop of aching and nothing can ever fully restore the views you had on life when that special someone was still around. While the stages of grief can be defined, the tactics and methods we use to carry out each step of the process vary greatly and don’t always make sense to others.
Marc’s trip to Paris is just this — a part of the grieving process. In the midst of mourning his husband’s death, Marc is forced to start a new chapter which introduces him to secrets about his husband he likely didn’t expect. And who can blame him for wanting to investigate those secrets?
Initially, Marc wants to go to Paris to scope out the apartment his husband never mentioned (who wouldn’t?). But it would also make sense for him to want to find out who it is that was potentially stealing his husband’s heart.
Marc’s trip to Paris in ‘Good Grief’ allows him to see the double life Oliver was leading.
While I don’t think Marc intended on meeting the man Oliver may have been planning to leave him for, it happens — and we were kind of expecting it (weren’t you?). Oliver traveled often for work and his place in Paris was the private pad he was using to explore his relationship with Luca.
Marc gets to see the luxurious apartment designed for people to “come do sex,” as Sophie (Ruth Negga) puts it, and gets to meet Luca. As awkward and upsetting as this may have been for Marc, it seems to give him the closure he so desperately needs. While I can’t say I would have allowed Luca to spend the night, let alone join me at the dinner table, the scene seems to fit well into the film.
Additionally, the trip gives Marc the opportunity to connect with Theo, who he initially meets at an art event just after reading Oliver's letter revealing he had met someone and wanted to further explore that relationship. Theo lives in Paris and Marc remembers this while on his trip. As feelings of loneliness begin to develop within Marc, he acts on this and calls Theo.
Did Marc know Oliver was cheating in ‘Good Grief’?
Marc did know Oliver was seeing other people as he admitted during his “date” with Theo (Arnaud Valois) that he had agreed to open marriage. “He asked, and the idea of giving him a reason to leave felt scarier than keeping him happy, so that’s what I did,” Marc admits. “There were rules. Work trips, one and done. 'I don’t want to hear about it.’”
But as one can only imagine, open marriages are difficult to navigate as there is always the risk that feelings will develop, and not between the two people who said “I do.” So, while Marc knew things were happening behind his back, he didn’t know Oliver was planning to leave him for another man.
Although Marc’s trip to Paris brings him closer to Oliver’s “lover” if you want to call him that and sparks a rift in his friendship with Thomas (Himesh Patel), everyone comes out of the experience a better person (eventually).