You know when you're talking to someone you think is like totally happening in a far out way and they ask if you've seen their favourite movie and you lie and say you seen "parts of it" because you don't want to seem like a total pop culture pariah? Yeah, we do too - and we hate ourselves for it! That's why we're vowing to watch at least one movie we've put off, ignored, rejected or just plain-out forgot about every week from now on. Join us as recount the popping of our cinematic cherries, complete with awkward, over-analytical details!
THE GOOD GIRL
DATE RELEASED: August 7, 2002
DATE ACTUALLY WATCHED: July 4, 2011
WHY NOW?: It's been on TV a lot lately (which seems to be becoming a very large factor lately in my reasoning for watching a film). Although I'd heard of the film, I decided to Google it for a bit more info. And for two main reasons, I decided to watch this film. The first, this film is supposedly the strongest point in Jennifer Aniston's career. Partly convinced by the rumoured but untraceable Empire Magazine quote: "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," when I tracked down the mag's review, I couldn't find this quote but instead found: "If initially one scoffs at cute Rachel, I mean, Aniston playing a straggle-haired cashier at a tacky discount store, she brings you around smartish with her emotional but reflective performance." So rumour or no rumour, this sounds just like what I need after what I said about her in my Just Go With It review. The second reason I needed to watch this film was its connection to one of my favourite books ever, The Catcher in the Rye. Jake Gyllenhaal's character is Holden. Enough said.
WHY NOT THEN?: Well, at 13 years old, I wasn't very much into adult black-comedy indies. Nor did I have any clue who the cast was, except for Aniston who I knew as the actress from that show that was always on TV (but later, I would become a Friends fan). Also, to my young tastes, it looked boring. Does Aniston not look bored out of her mind on the poster? I rest my case.
- Jennifer Aniston at the absolute best in her entire career. Yes, I know it's a lot to live up to, but this is what I've heard.
- A cute and quirky Zooey Deschanel, as usual, but even funnier this time.
- A transitional Jake Gyllenhaal on his way to hunk-dom. Not really sure what that means though. I guess I'll find out.
- Simplistic but interesting cinematography.
- Beautiful Catcher in the Rye references.
- Serious, although cliché, romantic drama.
WHAT I ACTUALLY GOT...
- Jennifer Aniston at the absolute best in her entire career. Seriously. So believable. What is she doing in rom-coms?! Really. Can someone answer that? She's a great actress taking crappy (although higher-paying) roles in unfunny comedies. What the hell. This just makes me mad.
- A very funny, very quirky Zooey Deschanel. And yeah, a bit cute, as usual.
- John C. Reilly convincingly as the bummy, pothead hubby. And a reminder of why he is better at drama than comedy.
- A non-transitional Jake Gyllenhaal. I guess that "hunk" thing just happened overnight.
- Uninteresting cinematography. But when the story's so good, who cares?
- Alright Catcher in the Rye references. But appreciative of them anyway.
- A black comedy that I actually laughed at. Most of the time, I get why the joke should be funny but I don't laugh. This time, I laughed.
- Serious, completely non-cliché romantic drama. Do not let anyone spoil the story for you. You need to be along for the ride.
- Beautifully written inner monologue. This film is my new favourite book.
"After living in the dark for so long, a glimpse of the light can make you giddy. Strange thoughts come into your head and you better think'em. Has a special fate been calling you and you not listening? Is there a secret message right in front of you and you're not reading it? Is this your last, best chance? Are you gonna take it? Or are you going to the grave with unlived lives in your veins?"
ONE NIGHT-IN STAND OR SECOND DATE POTENTIAL?
This one is coming home and staying there forever. Go out of your way to see this one. Hunt the DVD sale bins, scour Blockbuster, TiVo it. Trust me, you need this one. (And I would post the trailer for you but even that spoils too much. So view it at your own risk and ruin.)