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Review of Lovely and Amazing With Jake Gyllenhaal

Netflix Challenge: Jake Gyllenhaal Is Lovely and Amazing

Ok, so my title is a bit of a stretch — "young and naive" are probably better words to describe Jake Gyllenhaal's character in Nicole Holofcener's 2001 indie dramedy Lovely & Amazing. The film follows two sisters (Catherine Keener and Emily Mortimer) through a few days of trials and tribulations in love, career, and life in general. As their mom undergoes cosmetic surgery, it comes clear that both women have inherited her insecurities — but they're manifested in very different ways.

When Michele (Keener) takes a job at a one-hour photo, Gyllenhaal comes into the picture as her teenage co-worker. His character, Jordan, actually has a lot in common with The Good Girl's Holden. Both are somewhat misunderstood adolescents who develop relationships with older women while working at blue collar jobs. Both are the driving forces behind their affairs, and both turn out to make trouble for their paramours.

The film is fine if forgettable, but Gyllenhaal's performance in The Good Girl is definitely more of a standout from what we see here. It's fun to see Jake in his pre-heartthrob younger years, but for my next pick I'm eyeing something a little more recent (and where he gets more screen time!).

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