Saturday, 25 April 2009

THE GOOD GIRL (dir: Miguel Arteta)

THE GOOD GIRL (dir: Miguel Arteta)

As a recorded display of small town boredom this is one of the best examples in recent memory. The movie came to me at a particularly troublesome time in my own life and as a result many of themes resonated with me in a very strong way.

On my first night in California during a hell fortnight of a holiday my hosts took me to Tower Records to rent out a movie to keep me occupied during the following daytime and it was The Good Girl that leapt out and ended being the movie we rented. So as a result the first time I ever saw this morning was upon awakening in a strange place in Sacramento in a very lost place mind wise.

Of the Friends crew it has always been Jennifer Aniston that has proved most talented and of most worth (followed by Lisa Kudrow) and in this role again grain she really blossoms as a character (Justine) far removed from Rachel Green.

In my own example the movie came to me at a time where I found myself bored at work and attracted to an older lady at work myself. She was also bored and in the midst of divorce displaying similar sorts of wandering thoughts as Aniston in this movie. On the day the film was released on DVD in England I bought it from Asda and wholeheartedly recommended it to the lady in the hope of displaying some kind of depth and understanding of our respective situations and boredom.

As much as I hate to admit it I can associate with the Jake Gyllenhaal character with his delusions of grandeur in regarding himself a writer and a victim of circumstances and the world around him. Even though the drive and energy of such a character is to be admired (to a degree) his ultimate fate represents the inevitable consequences of a person distracted and not playing the game. In a strange way this is pretty close to how I eventually found myself losing my job through my blog (on a much smaller degree/level obviously).

The character of Holden/Tom played by Jake Gyllenhaal represents not for the first time in history a person being lead astray by Holden Caulfield but at the same time one being counseled and indulged in their dysfunction. Again this is something I have come to experience in my real life. Personally I have never been able to pull off the Holden Caulfield personality but I have witnessed first hand a person nanny a Holden Caulfield type through being troubled but more sweet and needy. Without these talents and traits all I can do is continue to try and write my own version of The Catcher In The Rye.

In contrast to the dysfunction is her husband Phil played by John C. Reilly acting as a stoner stuck in his own working class/blue collar rut but who is fortunately (for him) numbed to this degree of reality. As a result he represents some kind of constant and rock despite on the surface of things being more of a fuck up and criticized for being so.

Additionally in support Zooey Deschanel provides a great comedic character encompassing the personification of small-town cynicism and boredom, an individual destined to repeat the errors of Justine and Holden if she remains working at the supermarket. Likewise the writer of the movie Mike White plays a horribly stunted supermarket security guard who is supposedly accidentally tragic and humorous by mistake/error.

As the movie draws to a culmination/conclusion it is striking how the Phil character played by John C. Reilly emerges as perhaps the balanced of individuals who on the surface lives in a world of denial but ultimately appears aware of his circumstances but chooses to utilize a positive outlook in order to just survive and ultimately as the movie closes he and Justine make their strongest step towards maturity, a strong future and happiness. In a way this conclusion appears something of a compromise to the couple’s needs but ultimately it is very reflective of how life is.

This movie came perfectly timed and perfectly pitched when presented to myself as a 25 year old.