The Good Girl

Watch The Good Girl

"It's her last best chance... is she going to take it?"
  • R
  • 2002
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.4  (47,029)
  • 71

The Good Girl is a 2002 indie comedy-drama film that features Jennifer Aniston in a rare non-romantic comedy role. The film tells the story of Justine Last (Aniston), a 30-year-old discount store clerk, who feels stifled in her small Texas town life with her unremarkable but loving husband, Phil (John C. Reilly). Justine finds herself caught between her mundane job and her mundane life, and she is desperate for a change. Enter Holden Worther (Jake Gyllenhaal), a young and sensitive loner who is also her husband's co-worker. Justine is drawn to Holden's artistic and mysterious side, and they start a secret affair. As Justine and Holden's relationship heats up, she must decide what she really wants from her life and confront the consequences of her actions.

The Good Girl is a dark comedy that cuts deep. It takes a penetrating look at small-town life and paints a bleak and often emotionally oppressive picture of the challenges faced by those who are stuck in it. The setting is a small Texas town where conformity and conservatism are the norm. Justine is a woman who is suffocated by the norms of her community and the people in it. She is endlessly trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. The film explores themes such as existential anxiety, relationship dynamics, human morality, and personal transformation.

Jennifer Aniston delivers one of her best performances in this film, playing a character that is so far removed from her other well-known roles. Her character is layered, multi-dimensional, and broken in many ways, with Aniston demonstrating the depth and range of her acting skills. Jake Gyllenhaal gives an equally impressive performance as Holden, a young and complicated young man who is searching for something that he cannot articulate. His portrayal of Holden is authentic and nuanced, making it easy for the viewers to connect with him.

Deborah Rush shines in her supporting role as Justine's boss, Cheryl. She is a complex character, who is both maternal and cruel, making for an intriguing dynamic with Justine. John C. Reilly is also impressive as Justine's husband, Phil. He is a simple man, but one who loves Justine deeply and is willing to do anything to save their marriage.

The Good Girl does an excellent job of capturing the bleakness of low-income Texas towns, using the setting to echo the sense of constriction and despair felt by the characters. The film's somber mood is reinforced by its muted color scheme and the often-overcast skies that loom over the characters' lives. The soundtrack, featuring a lot of acoustic guitar, lends a melancholic vibe to the film, further bringing to the fore the feeling of being stuck, of being hopeless and trapped.

In conclusion, The Good Girl is an excellent indie film that's anchored by strong performances from its talented cast. It is a character-driven dark comedy that offers a sobering look into the lives of ordinary people who are caught in the cycle of their mundane existence. It's a powerful exploration of what happens when someone decides to take a risk and break away from the strictures of their boring and/or sad lives. It is a film that resonates long after the credits have rolled, leaving audiences with much to ponder about their personal struggles, motivations, and desires.

Overall, The Good Girl is a movie that is well worth your time if you seek a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant experience at the movies.

The Good Girl
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (47,029)
  • Metascore