The Good Girl

Year: 2002
Director: Miguel Arteta
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, John C Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson
Some of the best movies are ones like American Beauty, where the protagonist is stuck in the drudgery of modern life and extricates him or herself from it through a mixture of desperation and determination. All films with a hero whose bored, middle class, stuck in a loveless marriage or a dead end job promise this, and if done right, the satisfaction makes the movie a great experience.

The Good Girl was heading down the same path telling the story of Justine (Aniston), feeling trapped - married to a loving but boring dolt (Reilly), with a crappy job in a cheap supermarket and little prospects in life.

When an affair with quiet new kid Holden (Gyllenhaal) looks promising, you start to feel like some of Justine's dreams are coming true.

But the cracks start early - Holden isn't a tortured, misunderstood artist (what she thought she saw in him), but a whining boy looking for attention.

The resolution is therefore completely unsatisfying; Justine's forsakes Holden and their affair (the smart thing to do, admittedly), but in doing so goes back to her dull life, job and husband, seeing in the final frames that she's dug herself deeper into her hole by having a baby. Nothing around her in her life has changed, and she's even more damned to it than she was before.

The message seems to be; don't try to lift yourself above your station, accept your position in life because anything better just isn't for you. I didn't like that, and so while the movie was well executed and everyone involved acted well (including Aniston, although it didn't call for much more than a southern accent), it wasn't enjoyable.

© 2011-2024 Filmism.net. Site design and programming by psipublishinganddesign.com | adambraimbridge.com | humaan.com.au