“Very Good Girls” – An all star cast suffers the curse of a confused story
Written and directed by: Naomi Foner
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Boy Holbrook, Clark Gregg, Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin, and Richard Dreyfuss
I was looking for something to watch/ review OnDemand, when I stumbled across “Very Good Girls”. After seeing the cast (which featured two of Hollywood’s best young actresses in Fanning and Olsen), and seeing that the story was of two best friends spending their last summer before college together and going through hardships that tested the fabric of their relationship I thought “Sure, why not?”
To answer my own question, I will start off by telling you why not. The cast and interesting premise is not enough. You need a well flushed out story. If you are going to portray the two young women as intelligent well-rounded people, you cannot then have them both fall for a guy who has the depth of a back yard water feature. David (Boyd Holbrook) is one of the worst examples of a deep, mysterious, heart breaker I have ever seen. He examples all of the traits of a disturbed stalker, and we are supposed to believe that these two beautiful (and more importantly mature and seemingly not stupid) women are going to fall head over heels for him and in the case of Lilly (Fanning) risk the life long friendship over. Well, I have an incredible ability to suspend disbelief, but I’m not buying that at all.
Equally as disappointing was how many head spinning tragedies take place around the fringes of the main story. You have an affair, a death, sexual harassment, and to top it all off the stresses of preparing for moving away to college. But, with this being a somewhat short movie (91 minutes) there is not enough time to really develop any of these story lines, and the end result is a convoluted plot that is spread way too thin.
There are a couple of bright spots here. Olsen and Fanning both do a good job portraying their characters. The score and cinematography are both exceptional also which allowed me to enjoy some scenes, but not enough for me to like the movie as a whole.
To sum up, it started off by establishing that the two young women were inexplicably drawn to a dud of a guy. After that, I could never really get attached to the characters or the story they were telling. Mix that with far too many side plots, and this just ended up being a miss for me.