The Good Girl (2002)



Critic Consensus: A dark dramedy with exceptional performances from Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal, The Good Girl is a moving and astute look at the passions of two troubled souls in a small town.

Movie Info

Justine is thirty years old and works as a discount store clerk in Texas. Deeply unhappy in her marriage to a man who is infertile because of a dope-smoking habit, Justine soon begins an affair with Holden, the store's newly hired cashier and becomes pregnant. Holden, who has serious issues of his own, steals money from the store's safe for the two of them to run away, but the plan is short-lived when it takes a tragic turn for the worse.

Rating: R (for some language and drug content)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Mike White
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 7, 2003
Box Office: $13.7M
Fox Searchlight Pictures - Official Site

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as Corny

as Mr. Worther

as Mrs. Worther

as Floberta

as Heavyset Woman

as Haggard Woman

as Big Haired Woman

as Old Woman

as Blackberry Vendor

as Reporter
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Critic Reviews for The Good Girl

All Critics (156) | Top Critics (36)

A warmly satisfying comedy about dissatisfied people seeking to escape from the personal prison of their mundane lives in soulless suburbia.

Full Review… | March 31, 2009
Top Critic

I wish I could say I liked it more, but despite a smattering of priceless moments, The Good Girl gets bogged down in the very narrowness that afflicts Justine.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Arteta's third feature is good step in the right direction, for him as a disrector and for Jennifer Anniston as an actress

Full Review… | June 7, 2011

Jennifer Aniston is excellent in what is the best performance of her career, yet.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

In Miguel Arteta's quirky indie feature, Jennifer Aniston searches for meaning and passion in a swirl of suburban malaise and ironically may have finally found a character who can reveal the shades of her talent.

Full Review… | July 2, 2008
IGN Movies

After languishing in second-banana roles in such films as Picture Perfect and Rock Star, Ms. Aniston here creates a fully realized character of surprising nuance and depth.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Big Picture Big Sound

Audience Reviews for The Good Girl


First they made "Chuck and Buck" (2000). Two years later, screenwriter Mike White and director Miguel Arteta collaborated on "The Good Girl." The highly original and piercing "Chuck and Buck" is by far the better film, but "The Good Girl" has its charms, particularly a beautiful performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as a lonely, mentally unstable college student who calls himself Holden (after the protagonist in "Catcher in the Rye").

Jennifer Aniston, in her first and last interesting film role, plays the main character, a depressed, uneducated store clerk who has an extra-marital affair with Holden that goes awry. She is married to a brainless couch potato played by John C. Reilly.

As you'd expect from this filmmaking team, there's much dark humor and deadpan comedy about small-town life. At times the spirit of Todd Solondz is channelled. But nothing really surprising or compelling is ever discovered about the characters, and the comedy grows thin after a half-hour. The actors walk around in a catatonic stupor, going way over the top to dramatize their characters' stagnation and mindlessness.

I'm not sure why it's interesting to depict everyone in the heartland as retarded. It certainly bears no relationship to the reality of the heartland, where there is a lot more diversity than that. After a while, it just seemed like easy jokes perpetrated by artists who weren't really challenging themselves.

You could think of "Good Girl" as the last mumble-core movie. I'm quite glad that this sub-genre is pretty much dead.

Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer


I didn't like it. It was so derivative yet miserable, so cheerless yet faux-introspective. Sometimes there were these departures into fantasy and I didn't know what to think of them.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer


Jennifer Aniston impresses on this offbeat black comedy. Her low-pitched intensity evokes the seemingly demure Texan who secretly hates her life.
The sausage-chain structure of short scenes makes the plot plod towards the end. But laugh-out-loud characters, like a sadistic make-up girl enhance a skillful portrait of a supposedly ordinary life.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

The Good Girl Quotes

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