My dislikes for melodramas emerges as The Good Life begins and ends with a prosaic tone and never recovers from senseless direction and monotonous acting. I hated this film. It’s a bore from start to finish, essentially because of the pedestrian plot and below standard chemistry.
Jason (Mark Webber) is a young man determined to make his unsteady family life work, even when things get tough. After meeting a mysterious young woman named Frances (Zooey Deschanel), he begins to understand that his problems result in a cherishable gain.
With nothing more than unnecessary broadcasting of depressing subject matter (death seems to be the primary subject in the film and is repeated consistently throughout) and a widespread of melancholy, the film ultimately becomes joyless. Sure, there are a couple bright moments to be found (the present exchange on Christmas was hilarious and the strange sex scene was oddly funny too). But the barter of depressing dialog and the numerous accounts of distraught happenings is profound and overcomes anything remotely entertaining.
This is the exact definition of low-caliber entertainment. A film that lacks any form of enjoyment. Executive producer Bill Paxton makes a cameo appearance that is neither important nor particularly memorable. Webber’s performance, though sympathetic, is dry and lifeless and Deschanel puts forth the same sort of effort. No steady chemistry is found and it becomes frustrating.
Writer/director Stephen Berra carelessly directs and poorly scripts a film that doesn’t only misuse a bunch of talented actors, but also leaves you with a senseless aftermath. I like the majority of the actors in this film (Deschanel, Paxton, Patrick Fugit), however each failed to impress — a result from careless direction. Even though the film’s length is only 90 minutes, it drags on with a meandering pace and a dispiriting mood.
However you see at it, whether it be the standard drama with no affecting purpose or the film that mishandled nearly every film aspect that springs to mind, The Good Life ends up being one of the worst films of ’07. It’s considerably predictable at times, overwhelmingly dreary, and dull as dishwater–the sort of film doesn’t live long in memory.
The only available special feature on the DVD is a trailer of the film. A good thing if you didn’t want to waste your time with special features on a movie you are almost guaranteed to dislike. 1/5 stars