The Merry Gentleman (2009)



Critic Consensus: Michael Keaton's directorial debut, The Merry Gentleman, is a slow character study aided greatly by the performances of Keaton and Kelly MacDonald.

Movie Info

Michael Keaton makes his directorial debut in this low-key story of two unlikely kindred spirits. Kate Frazier (Kelly Macdonald) is a sweet woman who has left behind an abusive husband to start her life over in Chicago. Kate lands a job as a receptionist, but one afternoon after leaving work for the day she sees a man with a rifle on the ledge of a nearby building. The man is about to jump, and Kate screams; the noise startles the man, and he falls backward to safety. As it happens, the man with … More

Rating: R (for language and some violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Ron Lazzeretti
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 10, 2009
Box Office: $0.3M
IDP/Samuel goldwyn Films - Official Site



as Frank Logan

as Kate Frazier

as Dave Murcheson

as Billy Goldman

as Mr. Weiss

as Guy at Tavern (Victi...

as Executive

as Female Co-Worker

as Guy at Party #1

as Guy at Party #2

as Cab Driver

as Subway Singer

as Subway Singer

as Subway Singer

as Sleeping Man

as Other Salesman
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Critic Reviews for The Merry Gentleman

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (25)

A flawed but decidedly promising first movie.

Full Review… | December 4, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

It is a slow film, which could work, if it eventually became intriguing, but all we get is a showcase for annoying people who would have nothing in their lives, if they weren't already in a movie.

Full Review… | January 31, 2013

The subdued relationship that develops between the two characters is out of balance with the fanciful contrivances that bring them together.

Full Review… | December 11, 2009
Sunday Times (UK)

There are undercurrents of a Catholic kind about grace and redemption.

Full Review… | December 11, 2009
Observer [UK]

Despite memorable scenes, the narrative's aim is never clear: is this a crime drama, dark comedy or a May-December romance?

Full Review… | December 4, 2009
Empire Magazine

The film never quite convinces as anything other than a puff-piece for Keaton, but it is bolstered by another deeply empathetic turn from Macdonald.

Full Review… | December 4, 2009
Times [UK]

Audience Reviews for The Merry Gentleman


Frank Logan: You find presents under a tree. I found a girl. 
Kate Frazier: You must have been a very good boy. 

"A man with a secret. A woman with a past."

Despite its flaws, I really liked The Merry Gentleman because of its uniqueness and because it was one of the oddest emotional movies I have seen in awhile. It was oddly emotional because the characters don't show too much emotion, but Michael Keaton's direction dictates the emotional feeling of the film. Everything about the movie had a feeling of dreariness.there really was no cheerfulness to be had and I think that's what made the relationship between Kate and Frank all the more emotional.

The movie revolves around two people. A sweet young woman Kate, and a killer, Frank. Kate sees Frank on top of a roof after killing someone but doesn't see his face. She is questioned by police about the incident, but she can't really give the anything because he was to far away. Then the two actually meet and begin to become friends. There's no real plot to begin with, but the movie does do some great things with the characters. I love the way Keaton played with the viewer about Kate's past and her black eye. She would always give a different answer, but everyone really knows what it is.

I liked Keaton as an actor and as a director with this film, but what really sold me on it was Kelly MacDonald. I loved her performance. She was so subtle with all the large emotions that were going on in her characters life and made the movie all the more effective. The relationship between her character and Keaton's was oddly believable. Now that I really think about the movie, everything was odd. It isn't like a normal crime drama, because it isn't really about the crime.

It is easy to see why this movie is hard to like. It is slow, it is bleak the actors show no emotions, and the ending doesn't really feel like an ending. But Keaton didn't set out to make a movie that would be easy to like. He did a great job with a movie that is character driven, with two less than exciting characters. I don't know how he did it, but he did.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Cast: Michael Keaton, Kelly Macdonald, Tom Bastounes, Bobby Cannavale, Darlene Hunt, Guy Van Swearingen, William Dick, Jay Disney, Randall Jones, Debbi Burns

Director: Michael Keaton

Summary: Kelly Macdonald stars as a young wife who escapes an abusive marriage to begin a new life on her own. But when she finds herself a witness to a murder, she develops an unusual bond with a glum hit man. Beloved actor Michael Keaton makes his directorial debut with this quirky drama from a script by Ron Lazzeretti.

My Thoughts: "It was a quiet slow paced film. Not much action as I had thought there might be considering the film is about a hit man. But I still enjoyed it. Didn't really have much of any character development, but you kinda got a feel of their background by some of the remarks they make. It was an odd romantic film. Don't know if I liked the ending or not.. But it was worth the rental, and I think Michael Keaton did a great job on his first time directing a film. He was good in the movie as well. It's worth a watch."


Super Reviewer

Frank Logan: I found a girl under a Christmas tree.

I managed to catch a commercial for this film randomly and saw a chance to support Michael Keaton at the theater. Not only does he star in this little indie film, but he served as director as well. Its a drama concerning a man with a secret profession and a woman with a dark past finding each other.

Keaton plays Frank Logan, a suicidal hit man with a nasty cough. The film is set in the big city during Christmas season, and its very apparent that Frank doesn't enjoy his life. Frank's activities bring him into the life of Kate, played by Kelly Macdonald and using her Scottish accent for a change, a woman new to the city with a black eye.

One night, Kate spots a man about to possibly jump from the top of a building. She screams, he doesn't. The next day a couple of detectives question her about a murder that took place in her building, opposite the one with the man on the roof. Soon after that, Kate and Frank stumble upon each other, eventually forming a relationship of sorts.

The story turns into a sort of love triangle between these two characters and a detective. Its a different kind of drama that applies the awkwardness of human interaction with a deadly streak underneath it all. The movie very much downplays any thriller aspects that could emerge from Frank's profession. Instead, its a slow burn that applies real human drama to the situations.

The movie is very well made as well as offbeat, but its limited opening is certainly a sign that this movie wont be for everyone. That being said, I'm a fan of Michael Keaton and it would be nice to see him get larger film roles in the future. Both he and Macdonald are great in this film.

Kate Frazier: You may be the sweetest man I've ever met.

Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

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