What defines a Very Good Girl?

Very Good Girls is an indie film released in 2014 starring two famous actresses Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as the main characters. Even though the movie is a few years old I just had the pleasure of watching it a few days ago. After watching the movie I was on the fence of whether I thought it was good or not, so I could not help but see what critics had to say for themselves. To my surprise, the movie received terrible reviews:

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/very-good-girls-2014

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/very_good_girls/

After reading reviews, however, it made my realize that I actually did enjoy the movie and I believe the critics are a bit too harsh. Very Good Girls is about two best friends spending their last summer together before they head off to college. While discussing their future plans they realize they two of the very few girls left (among their high school/town) that has not lost their virginity. Clique as it is, Lilly (Dakota Fanning) and Gerry (Elizabeth Olsen) make a pact to have sex before they go to college. Unfortunately, Lilly and Gerry end up liking the same guy, hence the film rests on a love triangle. Gerry is very open and excited to tell her best friend that she wants to be with David, meanwhile Lilly keeps it a secret, in hopes of protecting Gerry from hurt, that she is sleeping with and has fallen in love with David.

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[Still from Very Good Girls (September 23, 2014.)]

Although the plot is expected and slow at times, I think the underlying message of the movie trumps the flaws. Very Good Girls is a lesson for teens about the importance of honesty in relationships, whether they’re marital, romantic, or friendship. Whether it be Lilly and Gerry fighting and hating each other over a boy or Lilly catching her dad cheating on her mother, the movie exemplifies how you cannot have a relationship without telling the truth; and I think that lesson is learned around the age that Lilly and Gerry were supposed to portray: high school students about to take the next step in their life. You cannot function without truth. Therefore was Lilly wrong to lie to her best friend? Was Lilly’s father wrong to cheat? Yes. But both characters came clean and asked for forgiveness. And that is what I consider “a good girl”: realizing your wrongs and choosing a lasting friendship over a senseless relationship.

-Jenna Romano (Blog #4)

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One Response to What defines a Very Good Girl?

  1. mediaphiles says:

    Very thoughtful Jenna! I am always curious as to what inspires or motivates directors and producers to create movies to get across a single/central message as done in Very Good Girls. Like you said the movie emphasized the importance of honesty in relationships. Although I think this is a good message to convey, I find it so impressive how a director can make a whole movie out a single theme.
    Kendall Fischlein

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