Very Good Girls (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 21, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Very Good Girls” is an entertaining film that is a straightforward coming-of-age film about two best friends during the summer and their friendship being tested over a guy. A fresh take on the banal film about friendship, “Very Good Girls” is a film worth checking out.
TITLE: Very Good Girls
TELEFILM RELEASE: 2013
DURATION: 91 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen), English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with English Subtitles
COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment
RATED: R (For Language and Sexual Content)
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Directed by Naomi Foner
Written by Naomi Foner
Produced by Norton Herrick, Michael London, Janice William
Executive Producer: Lee Clay, Peter D. Graves, Hawk Koch
Associate Producer: Bonnie Bentley, Jamie Morris, Brian Zellinger
Music by Jenny Lewis
Cinematography by Bobby Bukowski
Edited by Andrew Hafitz
Casting by Avy Kaufman
Production Design by Sharon Lomofsky
Art Direction by Lisa Myers
Set Decoration by Graham Wichman
Costume Design by David Tabbert
Dakota Fanning as Lilly
Elizabeth Olsen as Gerri
Boyd Holbrook as David
Ellen Barkin as Norma
Clark Gregg as Edward
Demi Moore as Kate
Richard Dreyfuss as Danny
Kiernan Shipka as Eleanor
Clare Foley as Phoebe
Naomi Foner (RUNNING ON EMPTY) takes the director’s chair for this gentle and sensitive youth drama that follows two New York City teenagers and the events that put a strain on the bond between them, during one of the last summers of their adolescence. Lilly (Dakota Fanning) is quiet, thoughtful and introspective – the product of two conservative parents (Ellen Barkin and Clark Gregg) who keep a tight rein on her. Gerry (Elizabeth Olsen), on the other hand, is free-spirited, uninhibited andslightly caustic – the daughter of a left-of-center mom and dad (Demi Moore and Richard Dreyfuss) who let her do whatever, and go wherever, she pleases. Shortly before they each leave for college in the fall, the girls spend most of their time together, whiling away pleasant afternoons, but soon they both meet and fall for the same boy – artist David (Boyd Holbrook) who sells novelty ice cream bars at Far Rockaway Beach. He decides that he much prefers Lilly to Gerry, and Lilly loses her virginity to him. The affair grows more serious, but Lilly can’t bring herself to divulge the news to Gerry for fear of breaking her heart. Not long after, an unexpected tragedy occurs in Gerry’s family and forces Lilly to reach out in an attempt to console her best friend.
For producer Naomi Foner, while best known as the mother of Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal, her career in TV and film has been ongoing for decades.
Having worked on the TV series “The Electric Company” back in the early ’70s and a number of films during the ’80s and ’90s, she had an urge to write and direct a film about the bond of female best friends and how these friends will stick to each other during their highs and their lows.
The film would star Dakota Fanning (“War of the Worlds”, “Man on Fire”, “I Am Sam”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Godzilla”, “Silent House”, “Oldboy”), Boyd Holbrook (“Milk”, “Out of the Furnace”), Ellen Barkin (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, “This Boy’s Life”, “Sea of Love”), Clark Gregg (“The Avengers”, “Iron Man”, “Thor”, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Demi Moore (“Ghost”, “A Few Good Men”, “Mr. Brooks”), Richard Dreyfuss (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Jaws”, “American Graffiti”) and Peter Sarsgaard (“Green Lantern”, “Flightplan”, “Orphan”).
And so the film “Very Good Girls” was created and the film will be released on Blu-ray in Sept. 2014.
“Very Good Girls” revolves around two best friends: Lilly (portrayed by Dakota Fanning) and Gerri (portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen).
Both are trying to enjoy their summer before Lilly leaves to college and have fun and enjoy a few wild experiences.
After running around with no clothes on the beach, Lilly and Gerri run into a sign of an ice cream stand where David (portrayed by Boyd Holbrook) works and Gerri tries to flirt with him.
Meanwhile, Lilly is trying to deal with problems at home. Her mother Norma (portrayed by Ellen Barkin) is very strict, while her father Edward (portrayed by Clark Gregg) is having an affair with a patient. Because Lilly walked in on her father, situations change in the home with Edward telling his wife the truth and getting kicked out of the house. As Lilly wants her father back home, her mother won’t hear of it.
As for Lilly, to deal with her stress, she often tries to keep herself busy at work at car garage and is constantly flirted on by her boss Fitzsimmons (portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard). She also finds solace in hanging out with Gerri’s parents which includes her mother Kate (portrayed by Demi Moore) and her father Danny (portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss). Unlike Lilly’s parents, Gerri’s parents are very much into having a relationship with their daughter, sometimes irritating Gerri.
But often getting into arguments with her mother, Lilly ends up running into David. And wanting to forget about the bad things that she has been experiencing of late, she and David make out and eventually, loses her virginity with him.
But when Gerri begins talking about wanting to see David (as she likes him). Not wanting to hurt her feelings, Lilly decides to not tell her best friend that she is seeing David and the two have had sex.
But as two best friends who never keep secrets from one another, can Lilly keep Gerri in the dark about her and David?
“Very Good Girls” is presented in 1080p High Definition. Because the film features a lot of scenes shot outdoors, the film looks great on Blu-ray. While not extremely vibrant, with a hint of cool colors, “Very Good Girls” is a film with great detail, especially during closeups. I didn’t notice any banding issues or artifacts during the film.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Very Good girls” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and is primarily a film that is dialogue and musically driven and is primarily focused on the center and front channel. But dialogue and music are both crystal clear.
“Very Good Girls” comes with the following special features:
- Interviews – (54:24) Featuring interviews with director Naomi Foner, Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen.
- Trailer – (1:44) The theatrical trailer for “Very Good Girls”.
When it comes to films about friendship, quite often you will see films about best friends who are guys, may it be helping going on a cross country trip or being there for one before their wedding. But “Very Good Girls” is a drama about two best friends who are female.
But what if their friendship is tested, when both like the same guy? Would two ladies end their friendship over a guy?
Of course, there is more to the story in Naomi Foner’s “Very Good Girls”. A film which follows the character Lilly, as she deals with her father having an affair with one of his clients. Knowing that she has three younger sisters and is about to leave to college, her life is turned upside down when her father leaves home and she wants nothing but her father to come back home.
But then falling in love with David, but not knowing she can’t tell her best friend Gerri the truth because she knows Gerri likes him as well.
Stuck in a conundrum of being loyal to your friend, do you keep your mouth shut or tell the friend the truth in order to preserve the friendship?
“Very Good Girls” is a coming-of-age story about that awkward moment in one’s life as your relationship with your best friend is tested.
Both Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen have great chemistry as friends (considering they are real friends, attended the same high school) but the film benefits from the appearance of notable talents such as Elen Barkin, Demi Moore, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Sarsgaard and Clark Gregg.
But the storyline is rather formulaic, nothing overly complex, if anything, a film that is straightforward and if anything, touches the heart of many viewers who have had similar experiences.
Picture quality for the Blu-ray release is very good considering the film is primarily shot outdoors and it’s a dialogue and musically driven film. You do get special features with interviews with director Naomi Foner and actresses Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen.
Overall, “Very Good Girls” is an entertaining film that is a straightforward coming-of-age film about two best friends during the summer and their friendship being tested over a guy. A fresh take on the banal film about friendship, “Very Good Girls” is a film worth checking out.
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