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The good girl

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

It's her last best chance... is she going to take it?

Justine Last (Jennifer Aniston) is a texan checkout chick at the local retail rodeo who longs to have a child with her husband Phil (John C Reilly) but has so far been unable to conceive. She wonders if all the pot he smokes with his best mate Bubba (Tim Blake Nelson) might be the reason why. When Holden Worther (Jake Gyllenhaal) starts work at the store Justine finds a soul mate, a passionate young man who represents a chance for her to escape into a new world of emotion and sexual awakening. But when the affair moves from liberation to poisonous obsession, Justine finds herself ensnared in a chaotic web of blackmail, larceny and love.

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film drama checkout cashier love marriage romance affair retail

Persons of interest

  • Jennifer Aniston .... Justine Last
  • John C Reilly .... Phil
  • Tim Blake Nelson .... Bubba
  • Jake Gyllenhaal .... Holden Worther
  • Zooey Deschanel .... Cheryl
  • Deborah Rush .... Gwen Jackson
  • John Carroll Lynch .... Jack Field
  • Mike White .... Corny
  • Mike White .... Screenwriter
  • Miguel Arteta .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Someone who marries down and then wonders on what she's missing out.

Jennifer Aniston's acting doesn't range very far from Friends' sweet little Rachel in any of her films and The good girl is no exception. She has ability, of course, it's just that you've already seen much of what she does. Her character is not so far from Rachel, either, maybe that's why.

What saves The good girl from being yet another Friends cast member in yet another romance film is the fact that love loses out. The good girl is about people who are trapped inside their tiny lives but don't know how, or are too afraid, to get out. It's like Where the heart is without the feel good factor: dreary little white trash people in dreary little white trash jobs.

Aren't you glad you're middle class?

Meanwhile, Jake Gyllenhaal is just right as the quirky but sexy loser, not that I would dream of typecasting an actor. For chicks, this means that there's plenty of room for some serious perving while Justine's dilemma provides no little time for reflection on the state of their own relationship. There's not much for blokes (unless you're an ugly bloke who wants to root his best mate's girlfriend) but men who like drama can find lots to mull over.

The good girl is a serious film which resonates back to some serious plays which you should be able to remember if you ever studied literature. It's good but not great: take it or leave it.

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level sex scenes, adult themes, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

93 minutes (1:23 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 24 April 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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