Jennifer Aniston turns in "a fantastic performance" (Us Weekly) in this quirky comedy about first encounters and second chances. Thirty-year-old Justine Last (Aniston) longs for a life more fulfilling than the one she lead... more »s with her boring husband (John C. Reilly) and dead-end job a the Retail Rodeo. But when a passionate young co-worker (Jake Gyllenhaal) catches her eye and steals her heart, Justine's good-girl existences takes a turn for the worse- with unexpected and comical results.« less
I caught this movie on TV one afternoon and was sucked in. Wouldn't call it a typical comedy, maybe a dark comedy I guess because some of the characters and things they did were just small town funny. The story was kind of depressing though, not a light movie overall. I thought it was interesting to think about each person's circumstances and the acting was very believable. Many people have probably felt "stuck" in their life as the main character does and make choices that may not have the desired consequences they envisioned. I enjoy any movie that makes me think like this one certainly did. Sometimes "good" and "bad" choices are not crystal clear.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer N. from BLACKSBURG, VA Reviewed on 2/26/2012...
Well written and acted, although definitely not a rom-com.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Ann G. from HOUSTON, TX Reviewed on 12/28/2009...
Not a romantic comedy as expected with Jennifer Aniston. Interesting plot.
Kathryn B. (KathrynBlodgett) from JUPITER, FL Reviewed on 11/30/2009...
I was thoroughly unimpressed by this movie. I usually like Jennifer Aniston, but the acting was extremely dry, slow, and monotone like. The plot had some good ideas in it, but the terrible acting made me not want to watch it again. The slow and monotone feeling of the acting at first is a really great idea (gives a good impression of how bored she is with her life), but the entire movie and every character in it is like that! It doesnâ€™t get any more interesting or exciting even with announcements of infidelity and pregnancies and other life changing events. Not really worth the 1 credit, but maybe if you are bored and someone offers it in a 2 for 1...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Ashley H. (ashley2916) from KINSTON, NC Reviewed on 5/10/2008...
This is one of those movies you think MIGHT be good, but I was thoroughly surprised by it! It was an instant favorite. Although it's hard to picture Jennifer Aniston as a small town everyday girl, she does a good job at it! Really a great movie indeed, you won't be let down.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sleeping Giant of a Film
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With very little in the way of pre-publicity, THE GOOD GIRL crept into limited release and is only now being disseminated into some more mainstream theaters. There seems to be a trend here in putting the really superb, message films in the small theaters and letting word of mouth propel them into the public eye. And perhaps this technique underlines the importance of these small films - no ballyhoo, just concentrated fine work speaking for itself.THE GOOD GIRL is a well written, well directed strange story that adresses the Kafkaesque microcosms we all create. The setting is basically in and around a Rodeo Retail store in a small Texas town, that kind of claustrophobic place where everyone seems 'just fine' on the surface but within the shell is a lonely, borderline personality waiting to escape. The story concentrates on one character's (Justine) attempt to find something better in life, but the consequences of that decision bleed into the lives of everyone in this samll town. When the list for Oscar nominees begins to form, surely Jennifer Aniston's name will be at the top. Her performance is so well crafted and nuanced that despite her character's failings she maintains our empathy. This is a superb character role that deserves the highest kudos. The supporting cast is equally exceptional; Zooey Deschanel creates a zany, bizarre, hilarious yet real person (a bid for Best Supporting Actress),and John C. Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson, Mike White and Jake Gyllenhaal all are born to their roles. The director, Michael Arteta, makes the most of these gifted actors and creates an ensemble performance that stays in your mind long after the movie credits are over. This little gem of a film is bound to appeal to everyone who can transpose the atmosphere here created into the variations of despair we all create and cope with. A superb movie, this."
Brilliant acting elevates weak plot
John | Cleveland, OH | 08/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Justine is depressed. She hates her job at the Retail Rodeo, she comes home everyday to find her husband smoking pot and watching TV with his loser friend, her life is going nowhere. That is, until she meets Holden. Holden and Justine have something in common, they both hate their lives. For awhile, Justine and Holden seem to be in love and everything is great. It's not too long, however before things start going sour.Jennifer Aniston is nothing short of spectacular in this role. I went to see this thinking I'd have trouble believing "Rachel" from Friends as a depressed loser. Surprisingly, I left the theater wondering if I'd believe that this depressed loser could also be "Rachel". That's how incredibly transformed Jennifer Aniston is. I can't remember her even smiling in this. Jake Gyllenhaal is also terrific as Holden. I also love the one female employee (I can't remember her name) who makes those hilarious announcements over the store's PA. In fact, the whole cast is consistantly brilliant.
The flaw in this film is the script. Don't get me wrong, it's written extremely well. It is never cliched, never predictable, nothing like that. The problem is there isn't enough plot, if you know what I mean. The movie is great for the first 40 minutes, but then you start to wonder if it's building up to anything at all. The conclusion is satisfactory, but overall this could have been better if given a quick rewrite. Anyway, despite the plot that could've used a bit more story, this movie is more than worth the time and money. Jennifer's performance is EASILY worth a best actress statue, but I seriously doubt that, given all the other great movies this year, this movie will be recognized by the Academy."
Leaves you not knowing what to think
Michelle Lee | Bloomfield, NJ United States | 01/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jennifer Aniston does a surprisingly good job at portraying Justine, the fed-up Retail Rodeo employee who begins an elicit affair with Holden, a co-worker 8 years her junior. I find it funny that one of the reviewers thought of this movie as a "comedy". The dialogue is humorous at times, but I think this story has a lot more to it than meets the eye.Justine sees her life as a prison, as does Holden. He swings open the door of curiosity in her life that makes her wonder if there's more for her in the world. Yet, the "good girl" mentality she holds throughout the movie obligates her to deny her feelings for Holden and stick with her pot-smoking, impotent husband. As you watch, you at first root for Holden and Justine. You want them to escape their small town and find out what life holds for them. Then you start feeling like that isn't right either; Holden is, after all, only 22...and a depressed, rather mentally disturbed 22 at that. Justine sees in him a possibility, but still a bleak possibility. This leads to a battle of motivations: do you stick with the life you are familiar with and is socially acceptable, even if you're depressed out of your mind, or do you escape into a life more exciting that could very well be as bad or even worse? This is what makes me not know what to think. Justine obviously has personal issues she needs to work out, but she sees her answers in other people and not in herself. This makes her a sympathetic character, but you hate her all at the same time. The story is very well-conceived, and the actors do a marvelous job portraying Justine's equally-dysfunctional co-workers, family, and friends. The deleted scenes on the DVD are funny, and some would have been helpful to explain some of the progression in the story. However, the movie is mysteriously captivating on its own, and I think Aniston should be recognized for this gross departure from her flaky counterpart on "Friends"."
Don't steal and don't be disturbed
Evil Lincoln | Dayton, Ohio | 03/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an odd movie to write a review for. However, since most people reading this are looking for an answer to the question, "Should I watch this or not?" I'll give you a quick answer: Yes. It's worth every penny- for a rental, at least."The Good Girl" is like no movie I've ever seen. That's not a compliment, and it's not a criticism, it's just an observation. I don't want to pigeonhole it into any one genre. The movie has plenty of very funny moments, but it's not a comedy. It's also rather depressing (at first) but it's not "black." It's dramatic, but can't really be classified as a typical drama (although that's the section it's in at the video store). In short, it's just a bunch of stuff that happens.THE GOOD:There are a lot of very funny moments that will have you laughing out loud- sometimes at moments that you're not sure you should be laughing. The cast performs every character in "The Good Girl" superbly, from Jennifer Aniston's ramshackle Justine to Jake Gyllenhaal's sullen Holden to Justine's slovenly but affable husband Phil (played by John C. Reilly). Of course, I must mention Zooey Deschanel as cynical cashier Cheryl, one of the funniest and all-around best supporting acting performances I've ever seen. And yes, I am now officially a fan of Jennifer Aniston, even though I'm decidedly a non-fan of "Friends" (I tried watching it after seeing "The Good Girl," but couldn't get into it).THE BAD:Although the acting is great, it sometimes seems like they're acting in different movies. Holden's movie is a bleak tragedy, Justine's is a finding-yourself drama, and Phil's is "Half Baked" (cheap joke, I know). Justine is a hard character to empathize with, because you come to dislike Justine's paramour Holden more than her husband.However, you do want Justine to find happiness. But you know it's going to be hard for her to do so with any of the people in the movie. She's not a heroine, she's not a villain; she's just a human. She screwed up and she knows it. It'll help to keep in mind while watching this movie that all it's characters should not be looked at as either protagonists or antagonists, they should be looked at as humans.The movie left me a little depressed after watching it, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. It's a good cautionary tale. One of the things that tells me if a movie is good or not is how much it sticks with me after I see it. I rented this, watched it twice, and cannot get it out of my head. I'm planning to buy it."The Good Girl" is good, and it's worth a rental."
I Loved It!
Katie | St. Louis, MO | 07/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw this film because Jake Gylenhaal was becoming more and more popular and i wanted to see all of his films. I was not expecting a whole lot out of this film but i was shocked when i ended up loving it! Hardly anyone hs even heard of this film because it was a more independant film which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival, but it deserves recognition. I would recommend that anyone who enjoys dark and insightful films to see this. It is a wonderful film with great performances including Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, John C. Reiley, and Tim Blake Nelson. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did."