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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jennifer Aniston
Jake Gyllenhaal
John C Reilly
Tim Blake Nelson
Zooey Deschanel.
Directors
Miguel Arteta.
Screenwriters
Mike White.
Running Time
93 minutes

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The Good Girl
Seriously funny, dark satire with an impressive Jennifer Aniston as disillusioned small-town Texan shop assistant.


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Plot
Feeling imprisoned by her marriage to cuddly slob Phil and her job at Retail Rodeo, small-town Texan Justine 'Teenee' Last is excited by the passion of brooding newcomer Holden, until the youth's dark and twisted obsessions force her to make some drastic choices.


Review
Jennifer Aniston must have hugged herself when this mordant, adventurous satire, with excellent indie credentials from the writer and the director who brought us the weird and wonderful Chuck & Buck, came her way. It absolutely does wonders for her bid to be considered more than just a Friend.

If initially one scoffs at cute Rachel, I mean, Aniston playing a straggle-haired cashier at a tacky discount store, she brings you around smartish with her emotional but reflective performance. And the boys are good too.

Anyone could tell dispirited Justine that succumbing to a mysterious young thing first seen reading Catcher In The Rye is probably not a wise move, but you can sympathise. Delusional drop-out Holden is obviously cracked, but in an adorable kind of way. When they go to his house, his mother calls him Tom. "Tom?" queries Justine. "It's my slave name", he replies.

Justine is more intelligent, sensitive and disappointed than those around her, trapped in a world where dining out means chowing down at Se?or Tuna, and lovers tryst in a skin-crawlingly rancid motel. Home is where house-painter hubby John C. Reilly and buddy Tim Blake Nelson are couch-bound stoners, like Beavis and Butt-Head only with bigger bellies.

Work is where fellow cashier Cheryl's (Deschanel) insolent in-store p.a. announcements get her demoted to cosmetic counter makeovers (hilariously promoting a Coco The Clown look).

Meanwhile, screenwriter Mike White plays the Bible-thumping security guard whose reply to "Happy Halloween" is, "I'm not a pagan, but thank you." It's more than enough to make a good girl go crazy, let alone bad.

Aniston's deadpan voiceover narration nicely summarises Justine's spiralling crises of conscience, contending with death, temptation, blackmail and a fertility fiasco. Sly references to Gustav Flaubert's landmark novel of girlish dreams blasted, Madame Bovary, are sneaked in for fun but, happily, Justine does not share Emma B's capacity for ruin.


Verdict
Seriously funny. White's writing has sharp jabs and compassionate observation, while Arteta balances the comic and the tragic superbly.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Good Girl
Empire Star Rating

RE: The Good Girl

The Good Girl is such a brilliant film. Amazing performances from everyone, particularly Aniston. She is just so heartbreaking in this role. So subtle and ]. I just wish she would do more films like this. I personally find her to be a fantastic actress, and she is apable than the rubbish comedies she insists on doing. She could be so much more and this film is a hint of what she could be if she was more brave in her choices. The film is hilarious and yet deeply sad aswell. Would urge everyone t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by england_cmr at 03:03, 22 January 2013 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

*Spoilers will occur*     The Good Girl is possibly one of my favourite indie films. Jennifer Anistons is sublime as Justine who is a bored woman whose everyday life consists of standing around a dead supermarket and going home to a pot head for a husband and his best friend.  It isn't until Justine meets Holden (named after Catcher on the Yye) that she begins contemplating leaving her usual everyday life and her husband... however it goes distrously wrong when Holde... More

Posted by Sugar Kowalczyk at 00:31, 05 February 2007 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Good Girl is one of those enchanting and unexpected little indie gems that come along, and put a real mark in cinema. You really have to give Kudos to Aniston for not only leaving "Rachel" but going the complete opposite direction. She presents a bitter and far from glorified character that really should have been a bigger feature in the 2002 and 2003 awards campaigns. Equally good is Gyllenhall pulling away from his career creater Donnie Darko and whilst those two characters are more similar t... More

Posted by Daniel Kelly at 17:25, 01 February 2007 | Report This Post


RE:

L: mrdoom14 The Good Girl is quit a good little film wich has plenty to offer and Aniston was girl ing on a seriuse role and doing an excellent job at it. see what you've done here. You should have entered Thunderdome. ... More

Posted by Wilbert at 17:20, 01 February 2007 | Report This Post



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