The Good Life Reviews

  • Jun 23, 2012

    Exquisitely written, beautifully sad, and painfully real. This film is not made to create a satisfiable plot or give any sort of closure to the audience. It is a window into the mundane life that could easily belong to the millions of tattered Americans with broken dreams and stunted lives. The acting is superb, especially Mark Webber's. Harry Dean Stanton, Patrick Fugit, Zooey Deschanel, and Chris Klein give incredibly believable performances. People who didn't like this film probably have a general aversion to melancholy and the brutal reality of its vast existence in the world, which is one of the main themes present in this film. Mental illness, unrealized dreams, alienation, and the pain and comfort of death are also explored. It is truly a great watch for anyone who enjoys solemn drama and the calm, hushed intensity of indie films.

    Exquisitely written, beautifully sad, and painfully real. This film is not made to create a satisfiable plot or give any sort of closure to the audience. It is a window into the mundane life that could easily belong to the millions of tattered Americans with broken dreams and stunted lives. The acting is superb, especially Mark Webber's. Harry Dean Stanton, Patrick Fugit, Zooey Deschanel, and Chris Klein give incredibly believable performances. People who didn't like this film probably have a general aversion to melancholy and the brutal reality of its vast existence in the world, which is one of the main themes present in this film. Mental illness, unrealized dreams, alienation, and the pain and comfort of death are also explored. It is truly a great watch for anyone who enjoys solemn drama and the calm, hushed intensity of indie films.

  • Apr 09, 2012

    A bit outside the norm here, this one makes you really think about what is and what could be. A great little plot twist that makes the movie towards the end. The end to me was left kinda open I had been watching movies for about 8 hours recovering from New Years Eve so I may have missed something.

    A bit outside the norm here, this one makes you really think about what is and what could be. A great little plot twist that makes the movie towards the end. The end to me was left kinda open I had been watching movies for about 8 hours recovering from New Years Eve so I may have missed something.

  • Oct 12, 2011

    This movie has a lot of plays on everything. You're definitely led to believe one thing at the beginning of the movie and throughout, then actually led to believe something else, then it's something else that actually happens! Those final two turns take place in the final three minutes. I'm typically against twisty-turny nonsense as that's cheap writing, and I can agree with some critics who blast the movie for going that route. It's a depressing as hell movie. Jason's father has killed himself, and pretty much everything else imaginable is horrible for the young kid. It's no wonder you're led to believe he might shoot himself. The only real question would be: what took you so long? But as the title suggests, even in the darkest moments, there are moments of light, of good. And those are the things worth living for. Eh, that's feel good bullshit that really had no place in a movie this dark. I like Webber. He's good as a morose character and evidently does good work for the homeless off the screen. Deschanel is about the same as usual. No complaints, but no range either. Fugit disappeared after the rock n roll movie and he's good. Klein has also gone away only to resurface as an asshole-nut in this one, but he's pretty decent. The movie just tried to hard. I mean it's just one thing after another, and some of them are a little far-fetched. Undoubtedly, real life offers one thing after another to far too many people, but I think it very rare it gets this bad. Or I hope. And that's why the ending was set up the way it was. Who wouldn't want to end a life that bad? For the film maker to take away that question was pretty dishonest. Finally, the dad leaves the son his gun (which surely cant be the one with which he shot himself but it almost seems that way) and a bullet with literally his name on it. He also leaves a note to the effect of: the human brain carries enough oxygen to survive 10-15 seconds after the heart has stopped. Go for the head, son. A life of pain is long enough. It was a little more articulate than that, and a wasted line all things considered.

    This movie has a lot of plays on everything. You're definitely led to believe one thing at the beginning of the movie and throughout, then actually led to believe something else, then it's something else that actually happens! Those final two turns take place in the final three minutes. I'm typically against twisty-turny nonsense as that's cheap writing, and I can agree with some critics who blast the movie for going that route. It's a depressing as hell movie. Jason's father has killed himself, and pretty much everything else imaginable is horrible for the young kid. It's no wonder you're led to believe he might shoot himself. The only real question would be: what took you so long? But as the title suggests, even in the darkest moments, there are moments of light, of good. And those are the things worth living for. Eh, that's feel good bullshit that really had no place in a movie this dark. I like Webber. He's good as a morose character and evidently does good work for the homeless off the screen. Deschanel is about the same as usual. No complaints, but no range either. Fugit disappeared after the rock n roll movie and he's good. Klein has also gone away only to resurface as an asshole-nut in this one, but he's pretty decent. The movie just tried to hard. I mean it's just one thing after another, and some of them are a little far-fetched. Undoubtedly, real life offers one thing after another to far too many people, but I think it very rare it gets this bad. Or I hope. And that's why the ending was set up the way it was. Who wouldn't want to end a life that bad? For the film maker to take away that question was pretty dishonest. Finally, the dad leaves the son his gun (which surely cant be the one with which he shot himself but it almost seems that way) and a bullet with literally his name on it. He also leaves a note to the effect of: the human brain carries enough oxygen to survive 10-15 seconds after the heart has stopped. Go for the head, son. A life of pain is long enough. It was a little more articulate than that, and a wasted line all things considered.

  • Sep 11, 2011

    Horribly pointless and slow-paced.

    Horribly pointless and slow-paced.

  • Sep 10, 2011

    This is a bleak movie with a slight twist that is too late, too little. Zooey is charming. At moments she is as luminescent, or more, than I've ever seen her. Still she is a tease to the plot when she could have anchored it. In life the beautiful fail and the deserving are overlooked. I not only get it, I wish film were more aware of reality. I just wish the quirky films were less concerned with symbolic schtick and more aware of the reality of poor, tortured, even beautiful souls.

    This is a bleak movie with a slight twist that is too late, too little. Zooey is charming. At moments she is as luminescent, or more, than I've ever seen her. Still she is a tease to the plot when she could have anchored it. In life the beautiful fail and the deserving are overlooked. I not only get it, I wish film were more aware of reality. I just wish the quirky films were less concerned with symbolic schtick and more aware of the reality of poor, tortured, even beautiful souls.

  • Jul 20, 2011

    It tries a bit too hard, but it pretty good.

    It tries a bit too hard, but it pretty good.

  • Jun 11, 2011

    Surprised at the critical and Flixster poor ratings... really found it enjoyable and emotive enough.

    Surprised at the critical and Flixster poor ratings... really found it enjoyable and emotive enough.

  • Apr 19, 2011

    My theory (the movies of hers I haven't seen notwithstanding; Yes Man may not fit the mold) is that Zooey Descanel will play a dream girl type (because what else could she play?) as long as she ends up totally not one by the end. Fun fact: Bill... Paxton just wandered onto the set and decided he was in the movie. Maybe not, but why was he there?

    My theory (the movies of hers I haven't seen notwithstanding; Yes Man may not fit the mold) is that Zooey Descanel will play a dream girl type (because what else could she play?) as long as she ends up totally not one by the end. Fun fact: Bill... Paxton just wandered onto the set and decided he was in the movie. Maybe not, but why was he there?

  • Apr 16, 2011

    Heartfelt....Relatable characters.

    Heartfelt....Relatable characters.

  • Apr 02, 2011

    kelam, pahit, dan penuh kesakitan. bersetting di Nebraska, kota yang bangga akan tim football kampusnya. Jason seorang remaja yang hidupnya penuh dengan kesedihan, kerja parttime di pom bensin dan gedung bioskop tua. bertemen sekaligus mengurus pemilik bioskop tersebut yang sudah mulai dementia karena ditinggal istrinya yang meninggal. Jason baru saja ditinggal pergi ayahnya yang mati bunuh diri, ayahnya tersebut mempunyai selera humor yang aneh. lalu Frances masuk ke dalam kehidupan Jason dan mulai sedikit merubah pandangannya menjadi lebih optimis. apakah Frances berbohong soal hidupnya? lalu bagaimana dengan Gus si pemilik bioskop yang makin menurun kondisi kesehatannya? ditambah lagi kondisi keuangan yang memburuk, sementara masih ada ibu-nya yang harus diurus. setelah ngeliat Zooey topless dari jauh di Gigantic, di sini ngeliat Zooey topless dengan tangan menutup payudaranya :D. satu yang paling indah, bisa mendengar Zooey bernyanyi dengan suara asli tanpa taping lebih dahulu. ngga pernah bosen dengan karakter yang dimainkan Mrs Gibbard ini, benar² indie darling! akting Mark Webber pun meyakinkan, ditambah lagi dengan akting brillian dari aktor senior Harry Dean Stanton. perfect!

    kelam, pahit, dan penuh kesakitan. bersetting di Nebraska, kota yang bangga akan tim football kampusnya. Jason seorang remaja yang hidupnya penuh dengan kesedihan, kerja parttime di pom bensin dan gedung bioskop tua. bertemen sekaligus mengurus pemilik bioskop tersebut yang sudah mulai dementia karena ditinggal istrinya yang meninggal. Jason baru saja ditinggal pergi ayahnya yang mati bunuh diri, ayahnya tersebut mempunyai selera humor yang aneh. lalu Frances masuk ke dalam kehidupan Jason dan mulai sedikit merubah pandangannya menjadi lebih optimis. apakah Frances berbohong soal hidupnya? lalu bagaimana dengan Gus si pemilik bioskop yang makin menurun kondisi kesehatannya? ditambah lagi kondisi keuangan yang memburuk, sementara masih ada ibu-nya yang harus diurus. setelah ngeliat Zooey topless dari jauh di Gigantic, di sini ngeliat Zooey topless dengan tangan menutup payudaranya :D. satu yang paling indah, bisa mendengar Zooey bernyanyi dengan suara asli tanpa taping lebih dahulu. ngga pernah bosen dengan karakter yang dimainkan Mrs Gibbard ini, benar² indie darling! akting Mark Webber pun meyakinkan, ditambah lagi dengan akting brillian dari aktor senior Harry Dean Stanton. perfect!