The Good Girls

Set in early 1980s Mexico, The Good Girls follows wealthy housewife Sofia (Ilse Salas) as she’s forced to cope with her husband’s (Flavio Medina’s Fernando) sudden financial difficulties – with the narrative detailing Sofia’s initial attempts at keeping up appearances and, eventually, merely keeping her family afloat. It’s a minor premise that’s employed to exceedingly and excessively tedious effect by director Alejandra Márquez Abella, as the filmmaker, working from her own screenplay, places an long emphasis on the hopelessly mundane exploits of the shallow central character – which paves the way for a momentum-free narrative that’s rife with underwhelming, uninvolving sequences (eg Sofia throws an opulent birthday bash, Sofia spends time with friends at an exclusive club, etc). There’s little doubt, as a result, that the viewer can’t help but wish Abella would just cut to the chase already, as the episodic atmosphere grows more and more stifling as time very slowly progresses (ie what’s the point of all this, exactly?) Abella’s stylish visuals ultimately can’t even remotely elevate such aggressively minor material, and it’s clear, too, that long stretches of the movie are about as engrossing as watching paint dry. And although the protagonist’s mental unraveling in the endless third act is kind of interesting, The Good Girls has long-since passed the point where it’s even remotely possible to care about any of this. (The bold yet nonsensical conclusion only confirms the film’s status as a hopeless misfire.)

* out of ****

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