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A 2002 black comedy-drama written by Mike White, The Good Girl, explores trying to escape the mind-numbing dullness of everyday life, and the consequences of doing so.
Jennifer Aniston, who was trying to avoid being typecast due to her Friends success, stars as Justine Last, a depressed 30 year old who lives in a dreary Texas town and works at the local "Retail Rodeo".
Married to the dim-witted Phil (John C. Reilly), and working alongside Gwen, the always cheerful older woman, Cheryl (Zooey Deschanel), who tosses obscenities into the announcements, and Corny, the security guard who is always trying to get her to go to his bible study, Justine feels that her life is a prison, and she is "on death row".
She starts an affair with the oddball cashier, 22-year old Thomas "Holden" Worther (Jake Gyllenhaal), and slowly, her life begins to unravel.
This film contains examples of the following tropes:
- Bittersweet Ending
- Chekhov's Gun: The blackberries that Gwen offers to Justine. They end up killing Gwen (Due to being infested with parasites), and Justine considers using them to get rid of Holden, but can't bring herself to do so, and throws them away as he eats them.
- Your Cheating Heart: One of the main plotlines.
- Good Adultery, Bad Adultery Deconstructed
- Playing Against Type: Jennifer Aniston, successfully so. Most critics will refer to this film as her finest hour.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Several particularly horrible ones.
- Would Hit a Girl