gives us a post-Friends
Jennifer Aniston desperately trying to obliterate the memory of
her friend’s character Rachel Green from the minds of the film
going public. In The Good
Girl Aniston plays Justine Last, a sales assistant at
the discount chain Retail Rodeo, who is bored with every aspect
of her hum drum life including her marriage to her husband Phil
(John C. Reilly). She longs to escape and soon starts to take
action. However the actions she takes to escape her life are
anything but good – including ignoring a sick friend, attempted
poisoning and most catastrophically, adultery.
fellow Retail Rodeo employee Holden Worther (Jake Gyllenhaal)
Justine finds a like minded, if deeply troubled, spirit, with
whom she begins an affair. Holden is far from emotionally
stable and things start to get complicated when Justine falls
pregnant – especially complicated considering husband Phil is
infertile. Justine must learn to make some hard choices, but
not before things get further complicated.
paper the good girl sounds like an interesting idea, the
execution however is somewhat lacking. Director Miguel Artera
and Aniston do a good job of building the boredom of Justine’s
world; however it also has the effect of boring their audience.
Justine is not likeable, some of her decisions are detestable
and yet the film leaves her in a position she doesn’t deserve.
What does this say about how we should live our lives? Do bad
and everything will turn out ok? Maybe I missed the point (if
there was one) that Artera, and writer Mike White, were trying
Side character Cheryl (Zooey Deschanel) is perhaps the most
engaging character, even if she is being played for comic
relief. Indeed a much more engaging film might’ve been had if
the world of the Retail Rodeo was explored. Gyllenhaal plays
tortured Holden well, channelling
perhaps, and John C. Reilly continues to fine tune put upon
husband persona. However it is Aniston’s film, and even though
she does a fine job, nothing about her screams leading lady, and
The Good Girl was
not the film to try and prove she had what it takes.