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Movie Review: The Good Girl

Story: Somewhere east of Who gives a rat's ass? and west of Whatever Texas, lies this small town of cast away characters who have no dreams, no plans, no future and no hope. I know this sounds like a depressing story line, but strangely, it is not. It is a good effort by the quirky team of Chuck and Buck's director Miguel Arteta and writer Mike White.

The main character is locked into a childless, seven year marriage to a house painting 'stoner.' Everyday is the same. Along come a younger work mate and her life begins to seem to have excitement again. There are a number of other very interesting characters whose lives clearly need a new direction, but like most people, have little courage to change. The array of characters is what gives this film it's color.

If you like quirky (I do) and like to watch the beginning of some emerging careers, treat yourself to this far from perfect, yet enjoyable and funny film.

Acting: Jennifer Aniston does a fine job of breaking her celebrity status within the first five minutes of the film. She stays in character and I found myself having great empathy for her. John C. Reilly, as her stoner husband, keeps getting better and better (see rental list below) with each film. Jake Gyllenhaal, as the younger man, is very effective. Tim Blake Nelson, Zoey Deschanel, Deborah Rush and Mike White all serve their supporting characters well.

Critters: One giant scary German Shepherd.

Food: Some very unappetizing fare.

Visual Art: A vast array of tacky wall art.

Blatant Product Placement: A large part of the film takes place in a WalMart type store called, Retail Rodeo, where there is plenty of product placement.

Soundtrack: Very funny.

Opening Titles: Appropriate.

Theater Audience: A small group of quirky movie goers.

Quirky Meter: 4

Predictability Level: Medium

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: It needed some more editing -- or some of the other characters needed a little more development.

Big Screen or Rental: Have a quirky 90 minutes and go to the big theater. We need to encourage these independent film makers. For some terrific John C. Riley films you could rent: Magnolia, Boogie Nights, The Perfect Storm and What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Length: 95 minutes