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The Good Night

23 customer reviews

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(Apr 01, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Penélope Cruz, Martin Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Danny DeVito co-star in this wry look at an obsessed man who will do anything to make his passion-filled dream life a reality. Gary Sheller (Freeman) is caught in a midlife crisis: dead-end job, depressing life and a deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend Dora (Paltrow). That is, until he meets Anna (Cruz), the girl of his dreams. Able to see her only while asleep, Gary seeks out an expert on lucid dreaming techniques (DeVito) who agrees to help Gary carry on the most satisfying relationship of his life. But as Gary continues to shun reality, his waking life troubles only worsen in this illuminating dark comedy.

A somewhat poignant and sexy dramedy about the power of dreams as both an escape and a path to wisdom, The Good Night stars Martin Freeman (The Office) as Gary, a former pop star-turned-underachieving composer. Scoring commercials produced by his one-time bandmate, Paul (Simon Pegg), and stuck in a dead-end relationship with the prickly Dora (Gwyneth Paltrow), Gary escapes into his dreams, where an exotic beauty (Penelope Cruz) awaits him. Seeking advice on how to guide his dream life toward ever-more thrilling and satisfying experiences, Gary meets the eccentric Mel (Danny DeVito), who teaches a class on the subject but leads a marginal existence of his own. Just when things start getting particularly interesting in Gary's subconscious, he discovers his dream girl exists in the real world as a highly-paid model, whom Paul then casts in a commercial so Gary can meet her. Written and directed by Jake Paltrow, The Good Night is a provocative story about where and how people choose to feel most alive: fulfilling their potential in a world of real possibilities, or living for their unrealized fantasies of what could be. A double-twist ending deepens the complexity of the theme in dark and unexpected ways, and ensures that The Good Night is not a movie easily forgotten after a viewing. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • Commentary with Writer/Director Jake Paltrow

Product Details

  • Actors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz, Martin Freeman, Danny DeVito, Steffan Boje
  • Directors: Jake Paltrow
  • Producers: Bill Johnson, Donna Gigliotti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012GVMFI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,224 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Good Night" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on April 7, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Last reviewer didn't leave much of a review. This movie is different. Know that going into and be ok with it and you'll love it. There's nothin inherently BAD about this film unless you don't enjoy films that explore unique topics (such as lucid dreaming). It's the story of a man who yearns to escape from his dull life and the lack of faith and constant criticism from his girlfriend and best friend.

Very enjoyable film, and has an ending that leaves you feeling like you just watched something with a purpose and a meaning. I don't know, maybe it's a love it/hate it kind of a movie but I definitely loved it. Martin Freeman is a really great actor!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on April 30, 2008
Format: DVD
Jake Paltrow's "The Good Night," new to DVD, is a modern day fairytale of sorts primed to resonate with the insomniac in all of us. Paltrow may be principally famous because of his famous parents and superstar sister, whom he casts swimmingly, but he proves with this screenwriting debut that he is the real deal when it comes to writing as well as directing. "The Good Night" is original yet familiar, enigmatic yet straightforward, dark yet comical.

British actor Martin Freeman is Gary Sheller, a disheartened has-been musician writing cheap instrumentals for commercial advertisements in New York City. He lives with his endlessly negative, poisonous girlfriend Dora, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, who only serves to discourage him further. One can sense that both are equally self-loathing, thus resigned to each others' company in lieu of the hardship of single life. Gary stagnates even further while his boss and former bandmate Paul, a sordid, self-absorbed skuzz portrayed by Simon Pegg, seems to get ahead in life with little to no effort.

His anxiety drips into his dreams, and when the gray skies part he's left with Anna, an other-worldly, breathtakingly beautiful woman played by Penelope Cruz. She is lovely, supportive and nurturing - everything that Dora is not. The only problem, however, is that she exists only in Gary's dreams, turning every night into a secret rendezvous. In effort to make sense of it all he turns to Mel, played by the fantastic Danny DeVito. A self-appointed expert on lucid dreaming techniques, he takes Gary on a field trip to a mattress warehouse and warns him to avoid sleeping pills at all costs if he wishes to continue his nightly liaisons.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By nonlinearize on April 18, 2008
Format: DVD
The Good Night is about a man who seeks to cultivate in his dreams the life and love he doesn't know how to achieve in reality. To my knowledge, only one other film has been made with Lucid Dreaming as a subject, the excellent 2002 philosophical trip Waking Life. Lucid dreaming is essentially the ability to "wake up" while dreaming, to become aware of the fact that one is dreaming, and even to exert some control over dream content. There are a number of techniques, developed by ancient Buddhists and modern psychologists, which can be used to induce and prolong lucid dreams. Two of the most common tricks are featured in The Good Night, but neither one is intelligently portrayed or described at any length. A more insightful presentation of lucid dreaming would have made the film more engaging for me. Instead the subject is primarily used as a plot device.

As it is, The Good Night does do a number of things well. The film is populated by believable though unlikable characters who are adept at pointing out other people's faults, but incapable of acknowledging their own. Through consistent though casual attention to detail, the film excels at portraying the nuances of day-to-day life and conversation, and is laced with irony and subtle dark comedy. The Good Night shares much of its basic thematic structure with 2006's The Science of Sleep, but without the manic whimsical melancholy of that film. While some reviewers have said they thought it boring, I found The Good Night's darkly funny character drama to be pretty engaging.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jean Erasmus on March 14, 2009
Format: DVD
I had the pleasure to see 'The Good Night' after waiting almost two years to see it due to limited release. I expected someting interesting, but alas, this film somehow found a place deep inside my heart.

Similar themes have been done from 'Vanilla Sky' to 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', but 'The Good Night' is much more subtle and quiet; it feels more organic and real, winding up to an ending I did not expect, leaving me with emotions I can't quite explain.

Jake's direction is quite brilliant: from using clunky video shots in the 'real' world contrasted by the divinely photographed scenes in the dream sequences, to photographically placing the arguing couples in their own separate 'units' as a visual metaphor. Both the male and female characters look similar, yet differ completely in temperament, signifying the archetypal poles of men and women.

The music was also well chosen, especially the end sequence, invoking the oddest emotions I have felt in a long time.

'The Good Night' is probably one of the most interesting films I have seen in years: a quiet yet endearing script, finished in the most subtle direction.

It is one of those films that will be re-discovered in years to come by sensitive souls, placing it firmly with the likes of Anthony Minghella's and Tom Tykwer's quiet diamonds, lost in the madness of Hollywood Land.

I hope that Jake Paltrow will endure and return; he has much to gift the world...
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