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A GOOD PERSON

"Wise, Deeply Affecting Story About Recovery"

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What You Need To Know:

A GOOD PERSON is a gritty, but eventually uplifting drama about a woman who descends into alcohol abuse and drug addiction until she seeks recovery in an AA group that meets in a church. Allison is a joyful, vibrant woman in her 20s excitedly looking forward to her impending wedding to Nathan, when she causes a car accident that kills his sister and his sister’s husband. One year later, Allison is a full-blown opioid addict and alcoholic living in chaos and in a terrible relationship with her mother. Allison hits bottom and joins an AA meeting in a church that’s unexpectedly attended by Nathan’s father, Daniel.

A GOOD PERSON is a well-produced, redemptive movie. It takes an unflinching look at tragic family issues, but it has a thankfully happy ending. Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman deliver excellent Oscar-worthy performances as Allison and the grandfather. Ultimately, Writer/Director Zach Braff has fashioned a wise, deeply affecting movie that is regrettably excessive in its foul language, drug use, wrong comment that every teenager is doing sex, and condoning birth control for a teenagers..

Content:

(CC, B, PaPa, LLL, V, SS, N, AA, DD, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian, redemptive worldview about a recovering addict where an older character tells his AA group they are able to achieve forgiveness and reconciliation because they hold their meetings, marred by some pagan scenes of substance abuse/addiction, and a teenage drinking party with a teenage girl about to fornicate

Foul Language:
About 63 obscenities (mostly “f” words) and 10 light profanities

Violence:
An upset grandfather punches a 20-year-old and breaks his nose after catching him in bed with his 16-year-old granddaughter, repeated brief flashbacks of a car’s front windshield shattering in a car accident and sending glass shards flying through the car as air bags go off, the fact that the passengers were killed is discussed and makes the flashbacks even more disturbing; a woman lashes out repeatedly at her mother and others while desperately searching for the drugs to which she’s addicted, a recovering alcoholic man and his grown adult son discuss graphically the physical and emotional abuse he inflicted on his children when he was a full-blown alcoholic

Sex:
An unmarried couple is seen kissing intimately beneath sheets leading up to unseen sex, an underage 16-year-old girl is caught almost fornicating with a 20-year-old man, and the girl and the lead female character both lie to the offended grandfather that all teenagers are having sex, abstinence is pointless and that he should help his granddaughter get birth control

Nudity:
Upper male nudity when a 20-year-old man is seen wearing only his underwear as he’s pulled out of bed trying to have sex with an underage 16-year-old girl who’s seen in a bra

Alcohol Use:
The lead actress is seen drinking to excess several times, including while taking illegal pills on one occasion, teenagers are seen drinking illegally to excess at a party, a recovering alcoholic man is seen tempted to drink on a few occasions and is shown drunk at a low point

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
The lead character is seen snorting opioids on several occasions, she’s humiliated by two drug-dealing former classmates when she begs for drugs from them and forced to say “I’m a [expletive deleted] junkie” before she smokes heroin and passes out, then wakes up and vomits (this is her bottom point), after which she joins AA and makes serious effort to get clean, make amends and get her life back on track;

Miscellaneous Immorality:
In the movie’s first half, the lead character constantly lies and manipulates people to get drugs, but, as she recovers, she becomes a much more honest person.

More Detail:

The story of a woman named Allison (Florence Pugh) who causes a car crash that kills her fiancé’s sister and his sister’s husband and her subsequent descent into self-loathing and drug addiction before seeking redemption, A GOOD PERSON is an alternately gritty and beautiful look at addiction, loss, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Allison is a joyful, vibrant woman in her 20s excitedly looking forward to her impending wedding to Nathan (Chinaza Uche), when she causes a car accident that kills his sister and his sister’s husband. The story jumps to one year later, where Allison is a full-blown opioid addict living in chaos and in a terrible relationship with her mother (Molly Shannon) until she hits bottom and joins an AA meeting in a church that’s unexpectedly attended by Nathan’s father, Daniel, played by Morgan Freeman.

As Daniel tries to forgive Allison and build a relationship with her, his embittered 16-year-old granddaughter, Ryan (Celeste O’Connor), is upset because she lost her parents in the crash. He also struggles with the temptation to drink. This temptation is not only because of the loss of his daughter, but also because he’s also trying to forgive himself and rebuild his relationship with his son, Nathan, which was ruined by Daniel’s abusive parenting when his children were young.

Can Allison, Daniel and Ryan forge a friendship despite the tragic odds they’re overcoming? Can Daniel and Nathan overcome their many years of separation? Will Allison be able to make a successful recovery from addiction and restart her life in a healthy way?

Powerfully written and directed by Zach Braff (GARDEN STATE and SCRUBS), the movie’s first act is relentlessly ugly while capturing the chaos and immorality of a drug addict’s life. However, when Allison seeks recovery in an AA meeting, the movie settles into a much calmer and far more moral tale of Allison’s struggle to live her life right and make peace with those she’s hurt.

Viewers should be warned that the movie’s first half hour is packed with foul language, and severe drug use. The rest of the movie, however, makes it clear that Writer/Director Zach Braff is creating a wrong-vs.-right view of Allison’s life, as the story becomes peaceful and beautifully thoughtful once she attends the AA meetings in a church.

One big downside of the movie, however, is its casual depiction of teenage sex. The grandfather catches his 16-year-old granddaughter having an affair with a 20-year-old man, which Daniel strongly disapproves. The movie has an approving tone when Daniel chastises and manhandles the young man. However, Allison and Ryan convince Daniel that expecting abstinence is futile since “all teenagers are having sex” [which is not true], and, regrettably, he helps Ryan obtain birth control.

A GOOD PERSON is an absolutely terrific, redemptive movie. It takes an unflinching look at tragic family issues, but it thankfully has a happy ending. Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman as the recovery addict and the grandfather deliver excellent, Oscar-worthy performances. Ultimately, Writer/Director Zach Braff has fashioned a wise, deeply affecting movie that is regrettably excessive in its foul language, drug use, wrong comment that every teenager is doing sex, and condoning birth control for a teenagers.