Good Girl

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, John C Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson, Zooey Deschanel
Director: Miguel Arteta

Jennifer Aniston as you’ve never seen her before stars as Justine a thirty year-old wife who works at the local supermarket in a small town in Texas. Justine hates her boring job, the people that surround her are unstimulating and talk about things she doesn’t care about and she’s fed up with her husband Phil (John C Reilly) who spends his evenings sitting on the sofa with his best friend smoking pot.

When new guy Holden (Jake Gyllenhaal) starts working at the supermarket his dark mysterious qualities arouse her curiosities and it’s not long before they start an affair, each filling the others need for mental as well as physical stimulation.

Holden however has an unstable past having dropped out of university with a drinking problem. He also sees their future together following his dreams not allowing for Justine’s existing commitments to her husband. The longer they are together the more she comes to realise how emotionally childlike he actually is, so when her husband’s friend discovers her affair and tries to blackmail her, Holden ignores Justine’s wishes to take things slowly and be more cautious and tries to escalate their relationship and escape the town in which they live.

THE GOOD GIRL is a typically low budget independent picture but it never lets its budgetary restrictions hold back its story and its observations of what life can be like for some people living in a small town environment unsatisfied with the position their choices have put them in.

Although the movie has many humorous moments it’s certainly not a comedy and deals far more with Justine the central character’s attempts at finding a more fulfilling journey through life than trying to make the audience laugh.

Jennifer Aniston’s interpretation of her character really is very good and a long way from the well-known Rachel she plays in the FRIENDS TV show.

In the midst of all the big budget movies that occupy our attention it’s good to see that independent cinema can deliver the goods without the bucks.

4 out of 6 stars