cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

amazon.gif
Top Selling DVD     Books

BLU-RAY DVDs:
50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Selma
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
Akira
Avatar
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Bambi
A Bug's Life
Cars
Chronicles of Narnia set
Coraline
Ghostbusters
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Ratatouille
Rio
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
combo
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE

OFCS

Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

 DISNEY PIXAR DVDs
Alice in Wonderland
Bambi
Beauty and the Beast
Bolt
Cinderella
Coraline
E.T.
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Pinocchio
Princess Mononoke
Ratatouille
Rio 
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy


Click for full sized poster

The Good Girl

Starring Jennifer Aniston, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal
Written by Mike White
Directed by Miguel Arteta
website: foxsearchlight.com

IN SHORT: Good one out of the arthouse circuit. [Rated R for sexuality, some language and drug content. 93 minutes]

The more we see, the more we see categories of films that we see. Teenage rebellion and young adult versus the world are the classic subgenres. Lately there has been a shift to a ton of midlife crisis films featuring older actresses. Smack dab in the middle of all of 'em is the "I'm Thirty and what am I doing with my life" film that is perfectly represented by The Good Girl. The creators of this film, same pair as did Chuck & Buck a pair of years back, have crafted this story in the mode of a prison flick -- if prison is a nowhere job in a nowhere town in the nowhere section of a state so large one end doesn't know from the other -- where the dream of escape is nothing more than that. A dream.

Yep, it's another analysis of real people in real life situations, the kind that tends to swamp the indie circuit. The difference here is that we happen to like the team of White and Arteta, who manage to slip off the wall humor into the most mundane situations. That keeps everything interesting, even as you start to work yourself into the mindset of the characters seen on screen. The characters White creates are real and interesting. There's nothing pretentious or "film school" about the project and, even if The Good Girl does tend to run a bit on the slow side, it rides far above most of the indieflicks we see. Attribute that slowness to its location in the town of Wasteland Texas -- the name is in our press notes, it's never mentioned in the film but is totally appropriate -- where everyone shops in the Retail Rodeo store (think of a Woolworth's or K-Mart built twenty-five years ago and never improved) and just about everyone in the Retail Rodeo wishes they were someplace else

Mike White's script offers us very detailed and easy to differentiate characters, centering on Justine Last (Jennifer Aniston), married 7 years to stoner house painter Phil (John C. Reilly) and starting to wonder "where the baby is" now that she's thirty. Phil's partner, Bubba (Tim Blake Nelson) is incredibly envious of his friend's settled life. He'll discover that a little hero worship goes a long way before all is said and done.

Back in the store, nihilistic Cheryl (Zooey Deschanel) works the PA, security guard Corny (Mike White) preaches for Jesus and cosmetics clerk Gwen Jackson (Deborah Rush) is about to take a most unexpected journey. The only happy person on the floor is, actually, on the manager's podium. That would be Jack Field (John Carroll Lynch), the manager.

This is Justine's story, though, and her eye is focused on the newbie register clerk Holden Worther (Jake Gyllenhaal) a man-boy obsessed with "The Catcher in the Rye". Holden still lives with his parents. He's too intellectual (or the gene pool is too shallow) to play with girls his age. Justine is frustrated so ... will she go tadpoling (well, duh) and what will be the consequences (many more than we'll reveal, though they will affect everyone in the store). Once again, White pens a story which treads a fine moral line, as he did in Chuck & Buck. We hear Justines's internal torment thanks to a running voice over and, even though the end is predictable (in the same way that all stories involving "The Catcher in the Rye" seem to go) the quirks in each character kept our attention up even as the slow pace tried to turn us off.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Good Girl, he would have paid . . .

$6.00

We liked The Good Girl. If you've been exposed to White's sense of humor thanks to a rental of Chuck & Buck, move on up to the big screen. If you don't watch Friends (or have no interest in Aniston's big screen adventure) don't fear the rental bin.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Miguel Arteta
Click to buy films starring Jennifer Aniston
Click to buy films starring John C. Reilly
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.