Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Reviews
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

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Violette
4 Star Empire Rating
Draft Day
3 Star Empire Rating
Dolphin Tale 2
3 Star Empire Rating
Filmed In Supermarionation
4 Star Empire Rating
Luna
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating

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


submit to reddit


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

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

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


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Hateful Eight - The Story So Far
We delve into the short but tangled history of Quentin Tarantino’s latest

Gallery: Unseen Star Wars Poster Concept Artwork
JW Rinzler takes us through a history of the franchise in jaw-dropping art

The Future Of Film: Lasers Will Save 3D (If Your Cinema Is Big Enough)
Big will be beautiful in the brave new world of frickin' laser beam projection

The Bond Girls Who Made It Big
The actresses who overcame the curse of 007 to forge successful careers

The Future Of Film: A Woman Will Direct Star Wars
No longer a men’s club, Hollywood is going to start opening its doors...

The Empire Podcast #130: Interviews With Rosamund Pike, Lee Child And Antoine Fuqua
The Gone Girl star, Jack Reacher author and The Equalizer director pop in for a chat

The 50 Greatest Voice Performances In Movies
Who has the most talented tonsils in town?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)