calamityhey’s review published on Letterboxd:
As with all the Farrelly movies I've seen, this is much better made and more traditionally cinematic than I assumed it would be, but its also far too crass and ugly (content-wise) for me to be able to say anything nice about it.
A rather HBO aesthetic (doesn't help that Ali is channeling Brother Mouzone and Mortensen is reimagining Paulie Walnuts). IDK any and all of the complaints to come out of the Shirley family camp are damning and kill any apologist stance on this. I like to afford cinema room to reinterpret and mold real life people and events into what is needed if it allows the script to better highlight an idea that is more important than superficial detail, but the accusations and dismissals being launched at screenwriter Nick Vallelonga's interpretation of his father's story make it read as passive erasure and distortion of historical facts. Vallelonga likely thought he had something positive to offer in this story - a depiction of a white man and a black man crashing through taboos and cultural barriers without the aid of "PC Culture", learning to love each other via proximity - but unfortunately he has brought forth an embarrassing cautionary tale.
This seems like an easy dismissal tbh, but the way in which Green Book has been put on indicates a cultural desire to return to a faux-interracial joviality and a continued celebration of white folks who passively divert racism away from their onebackfriend but effect no meaningful change otherwise. I truly believe that Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? is the worst film of 2018 and has very similar (but more savvily articulated) goals to this film, but the cluelessness inherent to the film's creation nearly justifies the existence of the former movie.