ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

The Good Girl (2002), R
Analysis Date: August 30, 2002
CAP Score: 26
CAP Influence Density: 1.57

MinMax: -100

The Good Girl (2002) CAP Mini-thermometers

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

THE GOOD GIRL (R) -- ...Holden is just the man to give it to her. All of it.

Production: Flan de Coco Films, Myriad Pictures Inc
Distribution: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Good Girl LLC
Director(s): Miguel Arteta
Producer(s): Carol Baum, Kirk D'Amico, Shelly Glasser, Matthew Greenfield, Gina Kwon, Philip von Alvensleben
Written by/Screenplay: Mike White
Cinematography/Camera: Enrique Chediak
Music: Stephen Thomas Cavit, Andrew Gross, Tony Maxwell, James O'Brien, Mark Orton, Joey Waronker
Film Editing: Jeff Betancourt
Casting: Joanna Colbert
Production Design: Daniel Bradford
Art Direction: Macie Vener

Thirty year old Justine Last (Jennifer Aniston) is an employee of Retail Rodeo, a little department store much like those one-stop wannabe stores you see in the small strip shopping centers as you drive rural America. Justine is not happy, not happy at all. She is hungry for escape from the routine and doldrums of day to day life. She seeks a little noise in her quiet life. Her husband, Phil (John C. Reilly) is a drunken, dope-smoking house painter who seems to be sort of numb-in-the-mind complacent with their lives. Seven years into their marriage, the screeching halt to Justine's aspirations to make something of herself has made her think that maybe Phil is not the man she married. Now, she is dissatisfied with her job, her life and her marriage. The "It ain't good enough no matter what 'it' is" syndrome.

Along comes 22 year old Holden Worther (Jake Gyllenhaal) to the Retail Rodeo staff who is just as dissatisfied with the routine and hungers also for escape from boredom. Shortly it becomes apparent that he, too, is hunting for a little spice at the edges of his circle of influence to add flavor to the center of his life. But such spice is not available at Retail Rodeo. Holden reads books during his lunch. Catcher in the Rye is one.

Justine sees a commonality with Holden. She begins to imagine all sorts of fantasies and believes the commonality she shares with Holden deserves nurturing -- the misery loves company syndrome. And Holden is just the man to give it to her. All of it. Justine was raised a good girl and says she is aware of God and faith and all that sort of thing but has her own ideas about it.

Without a strong faith and thrust into heterosexual extramarital temptation, adultery blooms [Hebr. 13:4, Prov. 6:25-26, Prov. 30:20]. And it did in this picture. All manner of adultery from flirtation to intercourse *with* nudity [Heb 13:4], female nudity partially obscured but full frontal male nudity**. Also included with the "I've got my own ideas (about faith [Prov. 3:5]" were mockery of God through mockery of the Christian faith at least five times by having a "duh" actor say faith-based truths in easily dislikable ways about the antagonistic and atheistic hatred of anything Christian [Gal. 6:7], "It's God's Will" about a death and "If there is a Heaven." There was, however, less foul language in this R-rated feature than most PG-13 movies. As would be expected of adulterous relationships lying was frequent. And this is sad. Not only because of the potential to embolden real people to do the same and because of real people demonstrating sin thus sinning themselves but because most of the cast were good at their jobs. I will let the listing in the Findings/Scoring section tell the "whole story."


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. ** "Nakedness" (display of nudity) is spoken of as dark, restricted, undesirable, shameful, etc. 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
  • Prov. 6:25-26 Do not lust in your heart after her[or his] beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute [male or female] reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress [OR adulterer] preys upon your very life.
  • Prov. 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman [OR man]; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
  • Gal. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    The Good Girl (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • reckless driving
  • extortion
  • male rejection violence
  • animal threats
  • planning murder
  • attempted murder
  • aiding and abetting
  • planning illegal flight to escape accountability
  • suicide aftermath with body (actual mechanism of suicide not seen)
  • physical assault of adulterous wife
  • man beaten because of woman's lies

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 12 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • three uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • lies
  • eavesdropping
  • joy at success of robbery
  • request to lie

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sexual innuendo, comments, talk
  • woman in tub
  • attempted adultery
  • masturbation (genitals not seen)
  • masochism
  • inappropriate touch
  • adultery, much and frequent
  • intercourse, repeatedly, once with nudity
  • planning adulterous sex
  • adulterous kissing, many
  • man and woman in bed nude (genitals covered)
  • cohabitation for sex
  • skinny dipping
  • adulterous meetings
  • adulterous necking
  • extortion to get sex
  • full male frontal nudity
  • inappropriate touch while masturbating

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drug intoxication, repeatedly
  • smoking dope
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • "I need to get stoned."

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • mockery of God through mockery of Christian, repeatedly
  • "It's God's Will" about death
  • :If there is a Heaven."
  • two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 11 without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none seen

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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