Projections - Movie Reviews

The Good Girl

The Good Girl

Director Miguel Arteta and writer White follow up their perversely penetrating Chuck and Buck with a film to expand the range of "Friends" megastar Jennifer Aniston.

The wife of Brad Pitt is de-glamorized wearing her hair in a bun in the part of Justine Last, a Texas cashier at the Retail Rodeo.  She's a 30-year-old who is bored with life.

Her marriage to dope-smoking painter Phil (John C. Reilly) who pals with the dim-witted Bubba (Tim Blake Nelson) is static and un-fulfilling.  The two make a mess of their house with dirty work clothes from house painting.

The laid back story from White makes the most out of the characters as Arteta capably sets the mood.  It concerns Justine's need to escape through the younger Holden (Jake Gyllenhaal of October Sky) as she feels empty not being able to start a family with Phil.

The Good Girl showcases Aniston's talents only touched on in films like She's the One.  Here she shows that she's better than superficial parts in Picture Perfect and can play someone opposite what has brought her fame and fortune.

The spare production accomplishes what is necessary for this offbeat film to score an eerie poignancy with Aniston deft in finding the right moments of wit and heart as Justine contemplates something risky.  Reilly and the rising Gyllenhaal offer notable support, as well as Nelson whose Bubba has a lascivious side.  And Zoo Deschanel (Almost Famous) provides outspoken wit as Justine's colleague often heard on the retail store's public address system.  Even White is nutty as a religious minded security guard.

While Arteta and White don't make The Good Girl as riveting and deep as their first creepy collaboration, it's a good turn for the actor in Aniston who knows that "Friends" is starting to flatline.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Howard
Jennifer
Kathleen
Avg.
The Good Girl
B
 
 
B
B-
B-
B-
B
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