A low-budget L.A. indie, Good Dick has the feel of a messy but meaningful short story, as this first feature from actress/writer/director Marianna Palka offers up portraits of two young, messed-up souls.

Palka's nameless character walks around hunched over, as if her body is trying to shield her from the outside world. With ragged, dirty hair and an apartment to match, she crouches down by her TV, scarfing junk food and watching vintage porn that she rents from the local video store.

Jason Ritter (likewise nameless) is a clerk at said store. His curiosity about this dissheveled, shy customer and her strange taste in erotica develops into a stalker-like obsession.

Stalker-like, but really, he's just convinced he's in love, and that he - a guy with his own addiction issues - can do something for her. And vice versa.

Like In Search of a Midnight Kiss, another low-budget study of lonely Los Angeleno twentysomethings struggling to make connections, Good Dick has its awkward, cliched elements. But Palka and Ritter - a couple in real life - bring grace, humor and emotional honesty to their performances.

With its spam-alarm title and porn-themed overlay, Good Dick suggests something randy and gratuitous. It's not. At its best, the film is undeniably tender. Sweet, even. - Steven Rea

Filmmaker Palka and her costar Jason Ritter will appear at the 7:35 p.m. show tonight at the Ritz at the Bourse and at the 5:15 and 7:35 p.m. shows Saturday to field questions and comments.