The Good Girl (2002)

R   |    |  Drama, Romance


The Good Girl (2002) Poster

A discount store clerk strikes up an affair with a stock boy who considers himself the incarnation of Holden Caulfield.

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6.4/10
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  • Jennifer Aniston in The Good Girl (2002)
  • Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal in The Good Girl (2002)
  • Jennifer Aniston in The Good Girl (2002)
  • Miguel Arteta at an event for The Good Girl (2002)
  • Miguel Arteta and Matthew Greenfield at an event for The Good Girl (2002)
  • Matthew Greenfield at an event for The Good Girl (2002)

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5 December 2005 | evanston_dad
6
| So-So Dramatic Vehicle for Aniston
"The Good Girl" was heavily touted as the film that would help Jennifer Aniston break from her Rachel persona and make the leap to dramatic film actress. There was even talk (however brief) about an Academy Award nomination for her when this film came out. Surprise, surprise, but that didn't happen. And where has Aniston's film career been since? "The Good Girl" is leaps and bounds better than any of Aniston's other ventures into film--bland crap like "Picture Perfect" and that other movie whose name I can't even remember--but it's not a great movie in and of itself.

Aniston does a pretty good job, but you still can't escape the suspicion that she's just playing Jennifer Aniston, albeit a drabbed down version of herself. This movie's greatest asset is its supporting cast, particularly Zooey Deschanel in a very funny, dead pan role as a fellow worker at the Wal-Mart-esquire store Aniston's character works in, and Jake Gyllenhaal, who had begun his trek to stardom the year before in "Donnie Darko." The gods were being kind to Gyllenhaal in 2002, as he got to make out with both Aniston and Catherine Keener ("Lovely and Amazing") in the same year.

"The Good Girl" is certainly worth watching. It captures that nowheresville feeling of small-town America perfectly, the antithesis of every Frank Capra movie on the same subject. Instead of a cosy town where everyone knows your name, these towns are instead full of bored, restless people sitting around waiting for something, anything, to happen.

Grade: B-

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