Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

The Good Girl

Movie review by
Will Fertman, Common Sense Media
The Good Girl Movie Poster Image
Story of love and frustration isn't for kids.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie is a parable about how the absolute, black and white beliefs of youth give way to mature compromise.

Positive Role Models & Representations

None of the main characters are people you would want your kids to emulate.


Two offscreen deaths, one by suicide.


There is a scene of coerced sex that verges on rape; other sex scenes.


Strong language is used throughout the film.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol and drug abuse (pot) are depicted.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film deals with potentially upsetting issues such as mental illness and infidelity in an understated manner. Strong language is used throughout the film, and there are several scenes depicting sex without frontal nudity. Alcohol and drug abuse (pot) are depicted. There is a scene of coerced sex that verges on rape, and two offscreen deaths, one by suicide.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywonder dove October 17, 2013

Offbeat & Compelling!

I recently viewed this movie and it was very depressing yet very engaging. It's deep and dramatic. However, I often wondered why they would call it the... Continue reading
Adult Written byRachel D April 9, 2008

The horrible, awful, disgusting bad girl

I can't believe I didn't turn and run from this one. Nothing good to say, depressing, dark, completely immoral. PLEASE do not see this film!

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

THE GOOD GIRL is a mature story about love and frustration with special appeal for fans (teenage and adult) of Jennifer Aniston. In a suburban Texas town, Justine (Anniston) works at the local Retail Rodeo. Her job is a bore, and her jerk of a husband (John C. Reilly) spends every afternoon stoned on the couch with his buddy (Tim Blake Nelson). Alienated from everyone, Justine thinks she's found a soulmate in Holden (Jake Gyllenhaal), the sulky new cashier at the Rodeo. He's really a writer, and he's named after the main character in Catcher in the Rye, and nobody understands him. That he's only 22 to Justine's 30 makes him all the more forbidden fruit, and they quickly start a torrid affair. But Justine has much more to lose than Holden, and as he becomes more and more needy, Justine finds herself forced to choose between her new love and the everyday life she finds slipping away.

Is it any good?

The Good Girl has both funny and touching moments; all the actors give very sharp performances with great dialogue, but the plot fails slightly at the end. If this movie is a parable about how the absolute, black and white beliefs of youth give way to mature compromise, the story itself should never just fade to an unsatisfying "realistic" gray.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Justine's decision at the end of the film, and how it might affect her life in the future.

  • The title of the film is both serious and ironic -- in what ways is Justine a good girl, and how does she balance her desires with the good of the people around her?

  • What made Holden so attractive to Justine at the beginning, and how did this make him "a demon" by the end?

  • Although Christianity plays a relatively small role in the story, parents with strong faith will want to talk about the issues of forgiveness and coercion explicitly brought up by the film. What's the difference between professing a faith and adhering to it?

Movie details

For kids who love drama

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate