The Good Girl: Dale Robinette
EW Staff
April 19, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Good Girl

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
94 minutes
Limited Release Date
08/07/02
performer
Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zooey Deschanel, Tim Blake Nelson, John C. Reilly, Mike White (Director)
director
Miguel Arteta
distributor
Fox Searchlight Pictures
author
Mike White (Director)
genre
Comedy

We gave it a C

The writing-directing team behind the unsettling ”Chuck & Buck” isn’t the type to tolerate feel-good sitcom behavior. So for Aniston to star in the duo’s new dark comedy, she had to wash that Rachel right out of her hair, transforming into a dowdy, depressed cashier who, bored with her marriage to a pothead housepainter (”Magnolia”’s Reilly), has an affair with a brooding teenager (”Donnie Darko”’s Gyllenhaal). ”[I developed] a dorky walk to go with my character’s relaxed-seat Lee jeans,” says Aniston. ”’Relaxed seat’ is a kind way of saying ?fat ass.”’ Her seat size had to constantly fluctuate, since she shot the film while taping ”Friends” two days a week. ”Thank God I had been doing the show for so long that I know it like the back of my hand,” she says.

The film’s reported $4 million sale at Sundance to Fox Searchlight was a triumph for White, who had unsuccessfully shopped the script for a few years before Arteta made it independently. ”I’d have meetings where people said, ?I love the ‘Good Girl’ script, can you write something like that for us?”’ says White. ”I was like, ?Didn’t we submit this to you?’ ‘Yeah, we don’t want to make it. It’s too depressing and too small, but can you use elements of it?”’ Thankfully, none of the elements involved a pet monkey and a coffee shop.

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