Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Good Girl

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

 The Good Girl - 4 out of 5

Life after Friends...working the make-up counter.
I'm not one who seeks out Jennifer Aniston films.  I was never a fan of the show Friends and every film I've seen her in, she's always been Jennifer Aniston, not the person she was playing.  There are some exceptions, of course.  She made me very hot under the collar as the sexpot boss in Horrible Bosses and she did her role as good as it needed to be in Office Space.  After viewing Horrible Bosses and talking about how she really blew me away with her performance, a friend of mine recommended this film to me because Aniston really delivered in it and, I must say, my buddy was right!

John C. Reilly plays her husband?!?  Is there any role that
man can't do?
The Good Girl is about a worn-down and unloved wife (played by Aniston) who hates her job and hates her marriage even more.  Then, one day, a young and mysterious guy comes working for the store she's employed with and she finds him impossibly alluring and she's quickly floating her way into his arms and away from the drunk, pot smoker of a husband she's wed to.  The two begin to have an affair that quickly sends their lives into a spiral to which there seems to be no easy way out of (as a man who's never been involved in something like that, I can't imagine that there is a breed of affair that is easy to escape from).

Believe it or not, that's Zooey Deschanel.  And believe this or not, she's actually playing something different!  Not the wided-eye, quirky hipster she annoys the hell out of me with.
Aniston really does a great job in her role as the downtrodden woman trying to find some spark in the dark void that is her life.  Like I said previously, when I see Aniston in a role, she isn't the character she's playing but rather Jennifer Aniston superimposed into the film but this was one of those projects where she was her character, not herself.  Even more impressive (and one of the things I enjoyed about her in Horrible Bosses) is the fact she plays a very flawed character--and I don't mean flawed as in her quirky Rachel character from that popular sitcom I never enjoyed but flawed as in this "good girl" is really anything but.  Now that doesn't mean she is a terrible or evil person but rather...she's human.  And it was this very real, human factor that drove me to Aniston's character.

Backing up Aniston and playing the man who shakes the foundation of the lead character is the Prince of Persia himself; Jake Gyllenhaal.  I'm a big fan of Gyllenhaal because the man is fucking talented.  He's so talented, I had to drop an F-bomb to describe his talent.  His performance as the attractive Holden plays perfectly to Aniston's performance and watching their doomed trip of a relationship makes the film pretty damn addicting to watch.

Don't think for one damn second I will do a Brokeback Mountain joke here in the caption.  I quit those jokes.

Now this is a party!
The Good Girl isn't one of those happy, alternate realities we often see in the world of movies where everything works out in the end.  Instead, the film mirrors real life and basically gives you the truth that life isn't a fairy tale and shit will (and often) hit the fan as a single action can lead a person down a path to ends with only trouble.  With a dark edge to the story (but not too dark), some great supporting cast from the always incredible John C. Reilly and Tim Blake Nelson, and terrific performances by the leading actors, The Good Girl definitely surprised me and really delivered.

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