The Good Life Reviews
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.
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.