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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Justine (Jennifer Aniston) is the good girl. Thirty years old and working in a Texas discount store, she is dissatisfied by her routine and disgusted by her lazy, pot-smoking husband. Her life is nearly at a standstill, until she suddenly notices Holden (Jake Gyllenhaal) a few cash registers away. He is young and seemingly as disaffected as she, and together the two forge a passionate connection destined to shatter everything Justine stands for, or at least thinks she does.

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Critic Reviews for The Good Girl

All Critics (157) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (129) | Rotten (28)

  • "The Good Girl'' will finally make Jennifer Aniston a movie star.

    June 12, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A warmly satisfying comedy about dissatisfied people seeking to escape from the personal prison of their mundane lives in soulless suburbia.

    March 31, 2009 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Aniston may not have received her much-touted Oscar nomination, but this brilliantly funny and often touching film should assure her a solid post-Friends career.

    May 2, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Maybe Aniston should stop trying to be serious and stick with being funny, which is something she can certainly do.

    May 2, 2003 | Full Review…
  • A watchable and competently acted drama ... It's all very much out of the American Beauty rulebook.

    January 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Good Girl

  • May 06, 2012
    well acted but this wasn't my type of film. aniston proves she is much more then a friends actress here.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 18, 2011
    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.
    William D Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2011
    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 X Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2011
    A bored Texas housewife begins an affair with a troubled younger man, who works with her at the Retail Rodeo. The supporting characters in this film are truly excellent. Zooey Deschanel and Tim Blake Nelson are fantastic as the main couple's co-workers, Deschanel caking makeup on her face and slipping in snarky comments over the Retail Rodeo's P.A. and Nelson's characteristic commitment to the playing the hick fool. I even found Jennifer Aniston's performance strong, eschewing her Rachel from <i>Friends</i> schtick and adopting a confined gait. The script also succeeded on many levels. The film was able to render the claustrophobic nature of these characters and this place so much so that I almost found myself rooting for Gyllenhaal's unstable character. On a certain level, the script almost convinced me that he had a point. However, the ending is rather predictable, and as the plot thinned, so did my interest. And Justine's penultimate choice makes her a highly "unfeminist" character, one to whom we may be able to relate but ultimately never want to cheer for.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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