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The Good Girl (2002)

Jennifer Aniston , Jake Gyllenhaal , Miguel Arteta  |  R |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, John C. Reilly, Mike White, John Carroll Lynch
  • Directors: Miguel Arteta
  • Writers: Mike White
  • Producers: Carol Baum, Gina Kwon, Kirk D'Amico, Matthew Greenfield, Philip von Alvensleben
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: January 7, 2003
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000797IO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,575 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Good Girl" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 9 deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Alternate ending and outakes with optional commentary

Editorial Reviews

Jennifer Aniston turns in "a fantastic performance" (Us Weekly) in this quirky comedy about first encounters and second chances. Thirty-year-old Justine Last (Aniston) longs for a life more fulfilling than the one she leads with her boring husband (John C. Reilly) and dead-end job a the Retail Rodeo. But when a passionate young co-worker (Jake Gyllenhaal) catches her eye and steals her heart, Justine's good-girl existences takes a turn for the worse- with unexpected and comical results.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you not knowing what to think January 24, 2003
Jennifer Aniston does a surprisingly good job at portraying Justine, the fed-up Retail Rodeo employee who begins an elicit affair with Holden, a co-worker 8 years her junior. I find it funny that one of the reviewers thought of this movie as a "comedy". The dialogue is humorous at times, but I think this story has a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Justine sees her life as a prison, as does Holden. He swings open the door of curiosity in her life that makes her wonder if there's more for her in the world. Yet, the "good girl" mentality she holds throughout the movie obligates her to deny her feelings for Holden and stick with her pot-smoking, impotent husband.
As you watch, you at first root for Holden and Justine. You want them to escape their small town and find out what life holds for them. Then you start feeling like that isn't right either; Holden is, after all, only 22...and a depressed, rather mentally disturbed 22 at that. Justine sees in him a possibility, but still a bleak possibility.
This leads to a battle of motivations: do you stick with the life you are familiar with and is socially acceptable, even if you're depressed out of your mind, or do you escape into a life more exciting that could very well be as bad or even worse? This is what makes me not know what to think. Justine obviously has personal issues she needs to work out, but she sees her answers in other people and not in herself. This makes her a sympathetic character, but you hate her all at the same time.
The story is very well-conceived, and the actors do a marvelous job portraying Justine's equally-dysfunctional co-workers, family, and friends.
The deleted scenes on the DVD are funny, and some would have been helpful to explain some of the progression in the story. However, the movie is mysteriously captivating on its own, and I think Aniston should be recognized for this gross departure from her flaky counterpart on "Friends".
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't steal and don't be disturbed March 2, 2004
This is an odd movie to write a review for. However, since most people reading this are looking for an answer to the question, "Should I watch this or not?" I'll give you a quick answer: Yes. It's worth every penny- for a rental, at least.
"The Good Girl" is like no movie I've ever seen. That's not a compliment, and it's not a criticism, it's just an observation. I don't want to pigeonhole it into any one genre. The movie has plenty of very funny moments, but it's not a comedy. It's also rather depressing (at first) but it's not "black." It's dramatic, but can't really be classified as a typical drama (although that's the section it's in at the video store).
In short, it's just a bunch of stuff that happens.
There are a lot of very funny moments that will have you laughing out loud- sometimes at moments that you're not sure you should be laughing. The cast performs every character in "The Good Girl" superbly, from Jennifer Aniston's ramshackle Justine to Jake Gyllenhaal's sullen Holden to Justine's slovenly but affable husband Phil (played by John C. Reilly). Of course, I must mention Zooey Deschanel as cynical cashier Cheryl, one of the funniest and all-around best supporting acting performances I've ever seen. And yes, I am now officially a fan of Jennifer Aniston, even though I'm decidedly a non-fan of "Friends" (I tried watching it after seeing "The Good Girl," but couldn't get into it).
Although the acting is great, it sometimes seems like they're acting in different movies. Holden's movie is a bleak tragedy, Justine's is a finding-yourself drama, and Phil's is "Half Baked" (cheap joke, I know). Justine is a hard character to empathize with, because you come to dislike Justine's paramour Holden more than her husband.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting character study December 6, 2004
(Assuming that the reader has read the synopsis...)

Wow, Jennifer Aniston actually CAN act and Jake Gyllenhaal was very good, (pay attention to the little things he adds to the story and his character). I personally wouldn't have even watched this movie in the first place if it wasn't for the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my favorite actors, but I am glad I did. The story really isn't that complex or abnormal, just one of one woman's unsatisfaction with her life, and how she realizes that she has the power to make life what she wants it to be. She thinks she has found someone in Holden who, unlike her stoner husband, can really understand her. The end is the unique part, you can make of it whatever you choose. You can look at it as dark, a comedy, or light with its dark parts. This is a film that will leave a lasting impression on you, and make you take a step back and look at your own life. Basically, the story isn't complex, but the insight to the deepest of human emotions and tendencies make this a worth-while film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too smart for its own good, but also worthwhile September 21, 2004
Jennifer Anniston leads a carefully constructed yet deadening life as Justine in "The Good Girl". In one of those dead-end Texas towns (which I suspect exist largely on backlots in Hollywood) Justine works a dead-end job at a local department store, is married to a dead-end shlub (the latest in a long line of amiable, moron-losers played by John C. Reilly) and has nothing to look forward to. Bubba seems incapable of having that same perspective - largely because he spends most of his free time smoking pot with his best friend, Bubba (Tim Blake Nelson - late of "Holes" and "Minority Report"). Justine is that critical age, when people who had thought themselves young adults realize that middle-age is in sight, and they've got nothing to show for it. The world that had seemed a candy store to her when she was young, now looks like death row - bereft of possibilities. Things change with the arrival of Holden (Jake Gyllenhaal) a wide-eyed young dreamer who hates his life, but has ideas for changing things. Holden is a dreamer who patterns his life on "Catcher in the Rye" and the sense that he was meant for bigger things than their town allows. Sensing Justine's wanting spirit, Holden fixates on her, spurring feelings Justine as well. Much of the "Good Girl" follows Justine's dilemma - stick with her hated existence, or take a chance on a reconstructed one with Holden. Though soon realizing that Holden's sense of imagination means trouble, the dilemma only deepens, and Justine only pines harder for a new life that's increasingly unattainable. Never making a final decision, Justine verges in one direction, then the other - spurning, then giving into Holden. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Rambling and unpleasant, just like life itself.
Rambling and unpleasant, just like life itself.

A young woman does not know what she wants, and causes unhappiness to everyone around her and to herself. Read more
Published 9 days ago by rwx
4.0 out of 5 stars very offbeat, but good
This is a film that really does not have a genre. There are comedic and funny moments (pretty much all dark) but it is not a comedy per se. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mike S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth seeing - terrific performance by Jennifer Aniston
Fascinating dramatic performance by Jennifer Aniston. Too bad she isn't given more chance to show her dramatic acting talent. Unusual story; well acted by all.
Published 5 months ago by Florida Gal
3.0 out of 5 stars Plays like a relatively low budget independent. But, I liked it, OK.
I don't think too many people will like this movie. It's slow--in that, it is character driven. The stand out is Jake Gyllenhaal. Aniston is good, but Gyllenhaal is really good. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Holly
2.0 out of 5 stars meh
I like the stars but this movie was pretty blah. ironic title. obvious and depressing plot line. didn't move me, didn't do much for me.
Published 6 months ago by Sam
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
Okay, to all Jennifer Aniston fans out there...this one's worth a miss. Seriously, what was anyone in this production thinking? Read more
Published 7 months ago by Philip Scholz
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Choice!
I love this movie for its intelligent screenplay, offbeat and interesting characters, and a lovely performance by Jennifer Aniston. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jane Eyre
3.0 out of 5 stars its ok
I like Zooeys short but funny performance.
The rest of the cast is pretty good but i dont think they are amazing. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mat Van Gogh
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd
Jennifer Aniston is one of my favorite actresses. I had heard a lot of good things about this movie. The acting was superb, but the story line was kind of odd. It's an OK movie.
Published 18 months ago by S. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars What's a girl like her doing in a place like that?
Very interesting comedy-turned drama, superbly directed and acted. Jennifer is stuck in a small-town rut, working in a discount store and married to an unattractive, boorish rube... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Sheikhnbake
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