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THE GOOD NIGHT, 2007
Movie Reviews!

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THE GOOD NIGHT MOVIE POSTER
THE GOOD NIGHT, 2007
Movie Reviews

Directed by Jake Paltrow
Starring: Martin Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Simon Pegg, Penelope Cruz, Danny DeVito, Amber Sealey
Review by Nina Katungi



SYNOPSIS:

Gary’s life has pretty much come to a standstill, he has an uninspiring job composing jingles for commercials and his relationship seems to have outlived its romance and passion. But when Gary starts to have dreams, dreams of what his reality is missing then things become even more confusing for him.

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REVIEW:

This is Jake Paltrow’s debut as a writer/director for a feature film. Jake is probably more well-known for being Gwyneth Paltrow brother and son of Blythe Danner and the late Bruce Paltrow. “The Good Night” is an interesting film. I chose to write about it because there was something that stood out, something that left me pondering, in a positive way, well after the film was over. I really like these reality/fantasy storylines they bring our imagination to life. I love the way complex and confusing films like this one affect me, I become intrigued and really involved with the events occurring throughout the story.

Gary’s (Freeman) had a fulfilling life, he was a Rock Star back in the day and he found love and happiness with the beautiful Dora (Paltrow). Today Gary is jaded, he’s stuck in a job that he hates and is at a dead end point in his relationship with Dora. Gary’s friend, colleague and old band mate, Paul (Pegg), seems to be dealing with his life in quite the opposite manner. He gets a kick out of producing really bad commercials, plays the superficial hot shot businessman to a tee, and tries to keep his old Rock Star traits alive by having an affair with a young gymnast claiming to be a fan - in his case, classic symptoms of a mid-life crisis.

Gary and Dora’s relationship has become a routine, which involve the same words and the same actions, everything between them is stale and detached. Gary starts to have re-occurring dreams and in those dreams he meets Anna (Cruz). Anna is everything that Dora was and meant to Gary. She represents the love and inspiration that Dora was once to him. In reality Gary’s a lost soul and in his dreams entails the answers to his spiraling world but he just doesn’t realize it yet. Gary becomes obsessed with his world of dreams and he seeks guidance from books and a Dream Specialist, Mel (DeVito), to help make sense of it all. He begins to exercise a form of lucid dreaming where you can control what happens. He loses himself in this world, where he is loved and appreciated.

Gary allows his dreams to take-over and merely slips away from reality that is until he sees Anna on a billboard in real life. His two worlds have now become one and Gary must go find the real Anna to see if she’s his fate after all. Things start to take a turn for worse when he finally meets the beautiful Anna and realizes she isn’t the dream girl he hoped she was. Gary begins to assess his recent change of character and slowly starts to acknowledge what a mess he has become. His choice is to either lose himself in a fictitious world where he has full control or return to the living where things are hard, unpredictable, and take time.

This film has got a great cast, which brings a mixture of comedic, dramatic, and international actors all together. The fact that this is an unusual combination is part of the reason the story manages to work. There seems to be a good balance in tone where the drama and the comedy overlap each other without the one overpowering the other. Simon Pegg and Martin Freeman are great comedians. They both have this ease to humor, which resonates so wonderfully on the screen. Gwyneth Paltrow and Penelope Cruz bring a sense of sophistication to the film. They are both have such great talent and always leave a compelling presence behind.

This film isn’t the most fantastic film I’ve seen but I appreciate its potential. I think Jake Paltrow may have some more compelling stories to tell so I’m going keep my eye on him. It some cases practice makes perfect and I think there may just be some good things to come for this filmmaker. I would definitely say “The Good Night” is worth a watch and that you should give it a chance. I was hesitant at the beginning but I was happily surprised.

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