The Good Girl
© 2003 by Raymond Weschler
Justine ("Teeny").................Jennifer Aniston
A 30 year old store clerk who is trapped in a bad job and a bad marriage.
Holden (John).....................Jake Gyllenhaal
An emotionally disturbed but handsome 22 year old who works at
the same store as Justine, who begins to have an affair with her.
Phil..............................John C. Reilly
Justines husband, who is a house painter by day, who spends
most of his free time watching TV and smoking marijuana.
Bubba.............................Tim Blake Nelson
Phils best friend and co-worker, who spends all of his time
watching TV and smoking marijuana at Phil and Justines house.
A security guard at the store where Justine works,
who is a very religious and conservative Christian.
A clerk at the store, who loves to say inappropriate things to customers.
Jack..............................John Carrol Lynch
The generally nice and conservative store manager.
Another clerk at the store who is one of Justines best friends.
This film is the story of a sensitive, pretty and somewhat depressed 30 year old
woman who finds herself living in a small Texas town, trapped in a job that she
hates and a marriage that is dying. One day while working at the Retail Rodeo store,
she meets a new cashier named Holden. He is only 22, but Justine finds him very
mysterious and attractive. Gradually the two get to know each other, and soon Justine
decides to have an affair with him, despite the fact that he is clearly an unstable
young man with deep psychological problems.
As their affair grows more intense, Justine must work hard to keep her life under control.
She no longer loves her husband Phil, but they are still desperately trying to have a
baby, and when Phils friend Bubba finds out about her relationship with Holden, she
finds herself in a crisis. Meanwhile, Holden himself grows ever more depressed and
disturbed when he discovers that he can no longer keep Justine just for himself. In a
last desperate effort to hold on to her, Holden tries to convince Justine to leave town
for a new life with him, away from Phil, Bubba and the Retail Rodeo. For Justine, this
forces her into a critical life decision between two bad choices...
Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know
Justine lives on with her horrible job and
marriage, and then meets the mysterious Holden.
You see the world filled with sweet candy and such.
In this context, a way of saying "and things like that."
Youre on death row.
The place in prison where those who are sentenced (punished) to die pass their
finals days of life, or more generally, the condition of being sentenced to die
for having committed a crime.
Are other folks cows chewing cud till....their heads roll?
"Folks" is a word for people (or parents). "Cud" is food that has already
been chewed by an animal. Note that "until"---> "till" in casual speech.
Its called work; You might want to give it a go some day.
"To give it a go" is a slangy way of saying to try something.
Theres a Retail Rodeo special on aisle 3.
Here, a "special" is a lower than usual price. An "aisle"
in a store is a passage for walking between products.
Liquid drain cleaner has churning power
and it will churn right through your pipes.
If a liquid "churns," it moves about violently, perhaps
eating or dissolving whatever it comes in contact with.
Shove something new and clean up your filthy pipes.
A ridiculous thing to say to a stores customers! "To shove" something
is to forcefully push it (in this case inside a pipe), and "filthy" is
an a powerful little adjective that means extremely dirty.
Well, we dont teach fire and brimstone.
A reference to the belief by some Christians that those who do not accept
Jesus will burn in a hell of fire and brimstone (which is a type of rock).
The Ten Commandments; Gotta live by those.
"The Ten Commandments" are the basic rules of life expressed
in the Bible, which prohibits such things as killing and stealing.
"To live by" certain rules is to agree to follow them.
Maybe youll have night after night of eternal
hell fire all by yourself. Just kidding you.
"Eternal hell fire" refers to the torture of going to hell forever, for not
having accepted Jesus (in theory!). "To kid" a person is to joke around
with them, or to say something to them that is not serious.
Paint stings. It feels like Ive been attacked by hornets in my eyeballs.
"Hornets" are a type of flying insect that sting like bees.
Oh, for Christs sake.
A common way of expressing anger or frustration.
Yall got paint all over it. This aint gonna come off! Damn it, Phil!
"Yall" is a way of addressing a group of people, but only in the Southern
states of the US (such as Texas, Alabama, etc
). If paint wont "come off," it cant
be removed or eliminated. "Damn it" is a crude but common way of expressing anger.
You two were stoned. You keep frying your brain like that and
youre gonna slip off a ladder and crack open your head bone.
"Stoned" is a colloquial adjective that refers to those people who are under
the influence of marijuana or other types of illegal drugs. Note that "going to"
----> "gonna" in rapid speech. Also note that a persons "head bone" is much
more commonly refers to as their skull!
You do really stupid things when youre high.
If a person is "high" on drugs, they are feeling its influence,
often by feeling dizzy, spacey or just strange or different.
We finally get nice things
and then everything gets messed up.
If something is "messed up," it is injured or damaged.
Why is this TV buzzing?
"To buzz" is to make the sound that a bee makes when flying nearby.
The Catcher in the Rye; Im named after it.
A classic and very famous book, written by J.D. Salinger in the 1950s,
about a teenage boy who is forced into a mental hospital. Holden has named
himself after Holden Caulfield, the main character in this book.
Hes put upon by society, the hypocrisy of the world.
The way Holden uses "put upon" probably means frustrated, mistreated or
disgusted by, but this is not clear. "Hypocrisy" is a critical word that
refers to the act of pretending to be what one is not, or to believe what
one does not (A politician who talks of the importance of telling the truth
but who also always lies is a hypocrite).
I noticed youre not very social.
If a person is "social," they like to talk and interact with other people.
He has a nervous breakdown, goes to a mental hospital.
If a person has a "nervous breakdown," they become so emotionally
overwhelmed, nervous or depressed that they can not take care of
themselves. A "mental hospital" is a place where people with serious
psychological or emotional problems are treated.
You dont get paid to pick your crack.
In this case, a reference to the crack between the cheeks of a persons ass.
Im not sure I can do makeovers. :: Oh come on, a little pancake,
eyeliner, mascara, rouge on the cheeks, and powder it up!
A "makeover" is the act of changing a persons appearance. "Come on"
is the most versatile phrasal verb in English, here meaning "be serious."
The list that follows refers to various types of makeup, including "mascara"
and "rouge," which are used to color a persons cheeks. "Powder" can be a
type of makeup, but "powder it up" is not really used.
Take a moist tissue, roll it in a ball, and toss it in their face.
If a tissue is "moist," it is slightly wet. "To toss" something is to throw it.
Jeez-Louise, Im talking to a tree stump, girl.
"Jeez-Louise" is a silly way of expressing emotion such as surprise.
A "tree stump" is the bottom part of the tree that grows out of the ground,
or more colloquially as here, a very quiet person.
Its why you walk around with that hung-jaw look on your face.
If a person looks like their jaw is hanging way down below
their mouth, they probably look very sad or depressed.
He says Im fertile. He says I can repopulate the
entire planet. :: Then whats the deal here?
"To repopulate" a place is to fill it again with people. In this case, "Whats
the deal?" is a slangy way of asking "What exactly are you telling me?"
Or what would be really neat is a paint that could change
the molecular structure of a house, like a chemical acid deal.
"Neat" is a way of saying excellent or fun. The "molecular structure" of
something refers to the molecules that its made of. A "chemical acid deal"
is Bubbas slangy way of referring to strange chemical interactions.
I think you two are a pair of potheads.
A funny slang word for people who smoke a lot of marijuana (pot).
This is a hand lotion, so dont put it on any other
part of your body, even if that part needs lubrication.
"Lubrication" is any lotion or liquid that makes a surface more smooth
or slippery. The above is obviously a ridiculous thing to tell a customer!
We try to keep frivolous lawsuits to a minimum,
unless of course, the customer is at fault.
If a lawsuit is "frivolous," it is not valid or serious, and is generally
a waste of time for all involved, including judges and defendants.
Do you always wear makeup?
Another word for cosmetics.
You might be interested in purchasing some of the products I used today.
"To purchase" something is to buy it.
These are bargain prices.
If a price is a "bargain," it is much cheaper than usual.
Justine, 30, sad and lonely, begins an affair with
Holden, 22, lonely and perhaps a little bit crazy.
I hate Gwen; I dont know what the hell she is so happy about.
A slangy and common filler that is used to
express emotions such as anger or frustration.
Im starting to understand why maniacs go out
there and get shotguns and shoot everybody to pieces.
A "maniac" is a good word for a crazy and often dangerous person.
A "shotgun" is a small gun thats frequently used for hunting.
Your lips are real pouty, like a woman, and your eyes
always look sad, the way they droop off to the sides.
If lips are "pouty," they look unhappy, and if something
"droops," it hangs, sags or falls low under its own weight.
Do you want to come in? :: I dont know; Im in a funk.
If a person is "in a funk," they are feeling sad or depressed.
They call you Tom? :: Its my slave name.
This is Holdens ridiculous way of referring to the
name that his parents gave him when he was born.
They dont get me.
This is Holdens way of saying his parents dont understand or appreciate
him. This usage is common in this film, but "get" is rarely ever used to
mean understand when referring to a person in general, as opposed to a
specific statement or idea.
He talks but he doesnt think. Im sick of it.
To be "sick of" something is to be extremely tired of it.
I had to drop out because I had a problem with drinking and stuff.
To "drop out" of school is to quit going. "Stuff" is a very general
word for things, or in this case, things related to alcohol and drugs.
Ive got to prove to my folks that I can fly straight.
Holdens very slangy way of saying that he needs to show
his parents that he can stop drinking and return to school.
Now, it would be reason enough to go.
A stylistic way of saying "a good enough reason...."
I like how you kept to yourself.
If a person "keeps to themselves," they dont talk to others.
After living in the dark for so long, a glimpse of the light can make you giddy.
A "glimpse" is a very short look or view. If a person feels "giddy,"
they feel extremely happy, but in a silly and lighthearted way.
Has a special fate been calling you and youre not listening?
A persons "fate" is their destiny or unavoidable future.
Is this your last best chance? Or are you going
to the grave with unlived lives in your veins?
A "grave" is the piece of land where dead bodies are buried,
and a persons "veins" are the tiny tubes that carry blood.
All that smooth skin, long hair.
If skin is "smooth," it has a continuous even surface, without bumps.
If I was a woman, Id be a slut. A lesbian slut.
A "lesbian" is a female homosexual, and a "slut" is a stupid but
still used slang word for a woman who sleeps with lots of men.
Gwen says smoking marijuana lowers your sperm. :: Lowers it to where?
Note that when a person is talking about male fertility, you
should say certain products or drugs can lower ones sperm count.
Maybe every time you smoke a little doobie, youre killing an unborn child.
A very slangy word for a marijuana cigarette.
Why are you limping? :: I twisted up my ankle on the stairs.
"To limp" is to walk with difficulty, or favoring one leg over the other.
"To twist" your ankle is to injure it by turning it too sharply.
I was wondering, maybe you could give me a ride home.
"To give someone" a ride is to transport them in your car. Very useful!
Every woman should have one beau before any woman has two beaus.
A French word (pronounced bow) for a lover or boyfriend.
Theres a Retail Rodeo special on all bulk candy on aisle four.
In a store, "a special" is a lower than usual price, and anything
sold in "bulk" is sold in very big bags, boxes or other containers.
Ghouls and goblins, witches and warlocks, wandering these aisles, day after day.
A "ghoul" is an evil being that robs graves, a "goblin" is a bad spirit,
a "witch" is a horrible old woman who flies on a broom handle, and a "warlock"
is a male witch who practices evil magic. "To wander" is travel around
aimlessly, without direction.
I put a Halloween curse on your hellish heads.
"Halloween" is the October 31st holiday when kids go to neighborhood
houses asking for candy. A "curse" is an evil magic spell that brings bad
luck or fortune, often made by a witch. "Hellish" means horrible or awful.
Happy Halloween. :: Im not a pagan, but thanks all the same.
An interesting word, often used very negatively, that refers to any religion
that is not Christian, Jewish or perhaps Islamic. Many conservative
Christians feel Halloween is a pagan holiday!
Maybe you should put some cold water on it, so it doesnt swell up and inflame.
If an injured body part "swells up," it grows bigger.
"To inflame" is to become hot, red or sensitive.
Its baby-making sperm, but I suppose it
couldnt hurt to have it confirmed by an expert.
"To suppose" is to assume or believe. If a suggestion "couldnt hurt," its
considered a good idea. "To confirm" something is to verify that it is true.
Oh, who gives a shit?! Who needs a fucking baby anyway?
If a person doesnt "give a shit" about something, they dont
care about it. Crude but common. Note that a modified version of "fuck"
can function as an adjective! Also crude but common.
Why dont you get that goddamn TV fixed?
A vulgar filler word to express such emotions as anger or frustration.
Where is he? :: Hes got the day off.
If a person has "the day off," they dont need to go to work that day.
He came by this morning with it.
"To come by" is a very common phrasal verb meaning to visit.
Because of you, Ill be quitting the Retail Rodeo. The last
two days here have been the most God awful of my life.
A dramatic way of saying horrible.
Ive not been able to get rid of you in my head.
"To get rid of" a person is to eliminate or destroy
them, or more generally, make them go away.
Id given up long ago on being gotten
by someone else, and then you came along.
This is Holdens way of telling Justine that he
always thought he would be alone until he met her.
The idea that I could be gotten because of circumstance
or never get gotten was the worst feeling I ever felt.
"Circumstance" (usually said in the plural---circumstances) refers to the
facts of a situation. The above sentence is Holdens strange way of saying
he was afraid that he would always be alone just because of bad luck, but
note that no educated speaker would really ever say "get gotten"!
If for this reason you could change your mind, and would
want to be with me body and soul, meet me after work.
If you are with a person "body and soul," you are connected to them both
emotionally or spiritually, and physically (or in this case, sexually).
I will be waiting for you at 5:00 outside of Chuck E Cheese.
This is a well known restaurant. In the context of such
a serious speech, it just sounds funny to say this.
Tragedy hits the Retail Rodeo as
Justine and Holden continue their affair.
I had a dream I was sprouting a beard made of bean sprouts.
"To sprout" is to grow rapidly, like a plant. "Bean sprouts"
are a type of vegetable or bean that has a root attached to it.
Im gonna let you off here, OK?
Note that "going to"---> "gonna" in rapid speech. "To let a person off"
at a particular place is to drive them there (A more common version is
to drop somebody off).
Youre a doll.
One way of telling a person they are extremely nice and much
appreciated, often because they just did something so helpful.
Im really glad you came. :: I just ditched Gwen at the hospital.
"Glad" means happy or pleased. "To ditch" a person is to run away or
leave them, even though they were expecting you to stay and help them.
Thats $45 even, and I need you to fill this out for me.
In this context, "even" means exactly. "To fill out" a
form is to write in information in all the empty spaces.
Gwen got really sick today. She was throwing up all over the store.
A truly sad phrasal verb meaning to vomit (Holden later says
"to sick up," but like much of what he says, this is never used).
I went down to St. Catherines to check up on Gwen.
"To check up on" a person is to visit them in order to make sure theyre
OK, or to make sure theyre doing what theyre supposed to be doing.
She was heaving up until there was nothing left to heave. Doctor said she must
have eaten something with some kind of parasite in it, some kind of bacteria.
"To heave up" is to throw up, but this is fairly rare. A "parasite" is a
tiny bug or germ that can make you sick, and "bacteria" is also a biological
word for tiny organisms or parasites that live in plants and animals.
I bet it was those blackberries.
A widely used way of saying "Im sure that..."
Youre going to have to supervise cosmetics.
"To supervise" a department in a store is to run it or be in charge of it.
I crave you. I want to know everything about you.
"To crave" something (or someone) is to very strongly desire it.
I wanna knock your head open and see whats inside.
Note that "want to"---> "wanna" in rapid speech. "To knock open" something
is to hit it so hard that it cracks or splits into two pieces.
It was about a boy who was put upon, whose mother was
cold and selfish and whose father wanted him to play football.
Again, this expression is common in this movie but not in everyday language.
Here, it perhaps means frustrated or misunderstood by society.
Sure enough, the boy comes to believe that no one could ever really
know him. He starts acting out, drinking and taking all kinds of drugs.
"Sure enough" is a way of saying "As one could have easily predicted..."
"To act out" is to behave in a loud, unstable and possibly violent way.
At the end, the boy kills himself by taking a bottle of bug poison.
Any kind of chemical that kills insects.
Your stories are intense. :: I just want to leave some kind of legacy.
"Intense" is a key adjective that means powerful or marked by great emotion,
energy or determination. A persons "legacy" is what they leave behind after
they die, that other people still appreciate or are aware of.
Youre mysterious...and dark and twisted. :: Im doomed to hell, arent I?
If a person is "dark," they are usually quiet and often thinking about
such things as death and suffering. If they are "twisted," they are often
very strange or sexually perverted. A person who is "doomed" is likely to
suffer something horrible in the future.
Hell beat me, but he will kill you.
"To beat" a person is to physically hurt or attack them.
She just passed. She passed away.
"To pass away" is to die, but note that it is becoming a bit more
common to say just "pass" (though that still sounds a bit odd).
She was on life support all day, and
It was Gods
will. No one can understand it, no point trying.
In a hospital, if a person is on "life support," they are being kept
alive by complicated machines. A persons "will" is their determination or
desire (though note that religious people will often say that God also has a will).
Gwen died today. :: Are you kidding? What for?
"To kid" a person is to say something in a joking manner, or not seriously.
"What for?" means "why?", and thus this is an interesting dialog because it
sounds funny. Here, its better to say "what happened!?"
Knocked off early, about 4:00
If a person "knocks off" from work, they leave work.
Gwen was a real class act.
If a person is a "class act," they have a lot of class, style or grace.
If any of yall need to collect your thoughts and remember Gwen...
If you "collect your thoughts," you stop to reflect on something serious.
Holden had the notion to spend the day at
Gablers Creek, skinny dipping and making love.
A "notion" is an idea, or in this case, desire or inclination. A "creek"
is a small river, and to "skinny dip" is to go swimming while naked.
He said wed be like Adam and Eve, rolling in the
sticks and dirt, and being one with the wilderness.
According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were the first people on earth.
"To be one with" something is to be spiritually connected to it (this is a
much loved expression for 1960s hippies). The "wilderness" refers to the
great outdoors, or nature in general, outside of major cities.
He was so fixed on the idea.
To be "fixed on" an idea is to be focused on it, or even obsessed with it.
I thought about Gwens body rotting away.
If something "rots away," it slowly falls apart or dissolves into nothing.
A hateful girl, a selfish girl. An adulteress.
A married woman who has sexual affairs with men who
arent her husband (The male equivalent is an adulterer).
I havent thought this through.
To "think something through" is to think about it very carefully,
especially in terms of what it means will happen in the future.
Theyd stop thinking Im such a loner.
A good word for a person who likes to be alone, away from others.
Ill be immortal, and like J.D. Salinger, Ill just vanish.
If a person is "immortal," they never die. J.D. Salinger is the mysterious
author of The Catcher in the Rye, and to "vanish" is to disappear.
We been up to no good. Got the day off on account of rain.
If a person is "up to no good," theyre busy doing destructive things.
If a person has the "day off," they dont have to go to work that day.
How are you holding up?
If you ask this after a personal tragedy, you are asking them how they
are surviving ("Despite the loss of her mom, shes holding up well").
I decided to move Cheryl to cosmetics; She got a little too creative on the P.A.
The "cosmetics" department in a store sells makeup such as lipstick and
eye shadow. The "P.A." is the public address system, which is used to speak
to lots of people at once, in a school, store or other building.
Maybe shell watch her Ps and Qs over here. If she dont, shes out on her butt.
If a person needs to "watch their Ps and Qs," they need to be very
careful about how they behave or they will get into trouble. In this context,
if a person is "out on their butt," they have lost their job.
Do you want me to help you get stuff out of storage?
A critical word for things.
Are you going to give me a ride home today?
"To give a person a ride" is to transport them in a car or other vehicle.
My ankle sure is acting up.
If an injured body part is "acting up," it is starting to hurt a lot.
I think we got to take a breather.
"To take a breather" is to stop work and relax for a while.
Lets go to the storeroom.
A large room for storage, often found at the back of a store.
You know, the couple that prays together stays together.
A totally ridiculous expression that a very religious person would say.
Justines life grows ever more complicated as Bubba
finds out about Holden, and threatens to tell Phil.
Were going to Bible study.
Note that in many parts of the US, especially in the Southern states,
it is quite common for people to get together in order to study the Bible.
I heard it was the couple that lays together stays together.
This is a silly play on words but its worth noting here that "to lay" has
a strong sexual connotation since "to get laid" means to have sex,
If it is, Ill just put more makeup on your chin to offset it.
"To offset" one thing by doing another is to try and balance
the two things (Here, Cheryl thinks makeup can offset long hair).
Its got quite a lot of ingredients, so youre
getting a good deal. Its got gingko extract in it.
"Ingredients" are anything that is used to make a food or other substance.
A "good deal" is a good or cheap price for a product, and "gingko extract"
is a now popular herb from East Asia.
It makes your skin real slick, so any liquid will roll
right off of you, be it water or lemon juice or urine.
If your skin is "slick," it is very smooth and slippery. If something "rolls
right off" of you, it slides off easily. "Urine" is the official word for piss.
Would you get in the shower, dummy?
A gentle insult word for a stupid or dumb person.
Working on your spiritual life?
A persons "spiritual life" refers to their religious life, or perhaps
how they interact with God, nature or the universe as a whole.
Aint that a hoot and a holler?
A very old-fashioned way of saying "Isnt that ridiculous?"( A "hoot"
is an old word for anything that is funny, and a "holler" is a scream).
I dont know what to say about Jesus. Im stoned.
A person who is "stoned" is under the influence
of marijuana or some other illegal drug.
Glad you could make it.
"I am happy that you were able to come."
Yall are in for a treat. We got a good discussion planned for tonight.
If a person is "in for a treat," they are most likely going
to receive something that is truly special and enjoyable.
If man is made in Gods image, what does that say about God?
If a person is made "in Gods image," this could mean they look like
God (An "image" is a picture or imitation of how something looks).
Were running away from Bible study like a couple devil worshippers.
In the Bible, the "devil" is the angel of evil and badness. "To worship"
a person is to treat them with great respect, just as if they were a God.
You are freaking me out, man.
"To freak out" a person is to scare or disturb them. Slangy and fun.
Can we please just get the shit out of here!
Note that "the shit" is a crude filler used to express emotion such as
anger or excitement, though in general "get the fuck out of here" is
both more crude and much more common.
I think I look kind of weird. :: The first rule of fashion is you have to look weird.
"Weird" is an excellent word meaning strange or bizarre.
Its cirque de face, meaning circus of the face,
and its all the rage with the Frenchies, mam.
"Cirque de soleil" (meaning circus of the sun) is a famous French theatre show,
but "cirque de face" is a stupid expression that would never exist. If something
is "all the rage," it is suddenly extremely popular, and "Frenchy" is Cheryls
ridiculous way of referring to French people.
I saw you two driving off like vampires of the night.
"To drive off" is to leave in a car. A "vampire" is a dead person who
comes alive to suck the blood of people while they are sleeping.
What in blazes? :: Do you like it?
A very old-fashioned way of expressing
shock or great surprise (A "blaze" is a fire).
I cant go today. Something came up.
If something "comes up," it unexpectedly happens,
and it is often so important that it will change your plans.
You just dont want to get me because Im too intensified for you.
If a person is "intense," they are extreme in their emotions, energy or
concentration (though "intensified" is not a word!) Also note again that
Holdens use of "get" here is not clear, though he probably means to
understand or be with.
Youre going to give up? Youre going to go crawling back?
"To give up" is to surrender or stop trying, and if you "crawl back"
after trying to escape, you admit that you should not have tried to
leave in the first place (For example, a person can crawl back to a job, or a
husband or a wife. "To crawl" is to move on your hands and legs, like a baby).
Youre so fucking frightened it makes me sick.
"Frightened" is another word for scared or afraid (Note again
that "fuck" can function as a crude adjective to express anger).
Dont give up on us!
One way of saying "Dont start thinking we cant stay together."
He talked a blue streak about the sad ruin that was his life.
"To talk a blue streak" is Justines way of saying to talk a long time
in a sad or depressed way. "Ruin" is a powerful word for total destruction.
He had accepted his fate of being Bubba, always and forever.
A persons "fate" is their destiny, or their unavoidable future.
Then last week, a door that had always been shut swung wide open.
Note that the past tense of to swing is "swung." This is Justines way of saying that
Bubba suddenly had an amazing and unexpected opportunity.
Bubba felt this was no chance coincidence; A cosmic force was at work.
A "coincidence" is the occurrence of two or more events that happen
at the same time by accident, but that seem to have some connection.
A "cosmic force" is a way of referring to some great and unknowable power,
such as God or nature or the universe in general.
The sound of me making love to a man who wasnt
Phil...was like a shout from the creator himself.
Often, as in this case, "the creator" is a reference to God.
He hated me for poisoning the well of idealism,
from which he had drunk for so long.
"To poison" something is to kill it with any kind of chemical substance,
such as a powder or liquid. A "well" is a deep hole in the ground for storing
drinking water, and "idealism" is the belief in living with exceptionally high
standards of morality, ethics or general behavior.
I was just a liar and a whore, and that sickened him.
A common and negative word to describe a prostitute.
He loved me for opening his eyes and releasing him
from the bitter chains of envy that bound him to Phil.
"Bitter" means angry or resentful, and "envy" is the frustrated feeling
one has when someone else has what you want. To be "bound" to a person is
to be stuck to them, either physically or emotionally.
Phil was no superman, just a cuckold and a fool.
A "cuckold" is the husband of a woman who sleeps with other men.
A "fool" is a person who does not have good judgement, or perhaps
who is particularly stupid or silly, who others often make fun of.
There was one thing left to do; Something that would
solve both of our problems and end this whole tragic saga.
If a situation is "tragic," it is filled with great suffering and loss.
A "saga" is a long and detailed story, often filled with tragedy.
Bubba, Im not going to sleep with you. :: I cant keep him
in the dark about something this big. Hes a cuckold!
Usually (but not always!), "to sleep with" a person is to have sex with them.
To keep a person "in the dark" about something is to keep it secret from them.
Thats about my salvation.
This is a religious word that refers to the act of being saved (And one can
be saved from death, destruction, ignorance, life in hell, suffering, etc).
Theres someone at the window! :: Oh, youre paranoid.
If a person is "paranoid," they are convinced that others are
always trying to spy on them or cause them great harm.
Phil isnt going to find out about any of this. Dont fret.
"To fret" is to become worried or angry and easily irritated.
I got to go to that doctor tomorrow and jism into a cup.
"Jism" is a silly slang word for a mans semen, though
it sounds even more ridiculous when used as a verb!
Well, arent you a fright!
A grammatically stylish way of saying "You look scary!"
He didnt show up for work today.
A critical phrasal verb meaning to arrive or come.
I want to know what gives?
A very colloquial way of asking "what is
happening?," or perhaps "why did you do that?"
Youre a hooker!...So how many guys are you getting with?
A "hooker" is another slang word for prostitute (Also note again that
Holden uses "get" in strange ways, here meaning to have sex with.
This is rarely if ever used this way).
He had me over a barrel. If I didnt sleep with him, he was going to tell Phil!
If you "have a person over a barrel," you find them in a situation where
they have to do what you want or you could get them in big trouble
(A barrel is a large round container for liquids).
Youve got to get a hold of yourself!
The words to tell a person who is panicking or extremely
nervous, who needs to calm down or relax.
Youll jump on any pecker thats put in front of you.
A silly slang word for a penis.
Sober up, meet me after work, and well talk about this.
"To sober up" is to return to a non-drunk condition after having drunk too much liquor.
Holdens life starts to spin out of control.
Good luck. Knockem dead, partner.
If you tell a person to "knock them dead," youre telling them to impress
the people they are talking to or performing for ("To knock" something is to
hit it, and note "knock them"----> "knockem" in rapid speech). In this context,
"partner" is a slangy way of referring to a friend or colleague.
I know youre angry and I can figure why,
but from where I stand, it was a wonderful thing.
In this case, "to figure" is to guess or think ("To figure out " a problem,
which is much more common, is to solve it). "From where I stand" is Bubbas
way of saying "from my point of view".
Nothing happened yesterday, so drop it.
A common way of saying "stop talking about it."
How do I stack up against them where it counts?
If a person want to know how you "stack up against" a person, they want to
know how you compare to them (in this case, when Bubba says "where it counts,"
he means how he and Phil compare in sexual talent).
Let me hold your boob. :: Ow, theyre sore.
"Boob" is a silly slang word for female breasts. "Ow!" is what you say when you
are in sudden pain (rhymes with cow), and if a part of your body is "sore," it hurts.
My stomachs cramping. I feel sore.
If your stomach "cramps," it moves or contracts in a way that it hurts.
Is it your period?
The bleeding that woman have due to their menstrual or fertility cycle.
Youre breaking out because you put so much makeup on your face.
In this context, if a person "breaks out," their face becomes covered with pimples.
As long as you can say youve hit rock bottom, you havent.
If a person "hits rock bottom," their life has become so bad that they
will do anything to change (such as deciding to no longer drink alcohol).
It would be easier if I were a hooker like
you, then I could calm down all over town.
A funny line in Holdens often funny English. Note that "calm down"
only means to relax, though here Holden uses it to mean to have sex.
Im in agony.
A powerful word that means great and intense suffering.
Please, dont forsake me, Justine. I cant take it.
"To forsake" a person is to turn away from, or leave them. In this context,
if a person "cant take" something, they can no longer physically or emotionally
accept it, and may even not survive because of it.
I realized that Holden was at best a child, and at worst a demon.
A "demon" is an evil spirit, like the devil.
If I was ever going to go straight, Id have to ditch him. Sometimes to
get back on the road to redemption, you have to make a few pit stops.
In this context, "to go straight" is to stop living a dangerous or criminal life.
"To ditch" a person is a colloquial way of saying to secretly leave them. "Redemption"
is the act of living a better life in order to perhaps be forgiven for having done
bad things in the past. A "pit stop" is a brief stop by a car in an auto race,
for gas and mechanical services.
We cant keep living day to day. We just got
to chart a course, and we just got to stick to it.
If a person is "living day to day," they are surviving one day at a time and
have no plans for the future. "To chart a course" is to make a general plan for
the future, perhaps in this case for how to survive financially.
I just befriended Tom recently.
"To befriend" a person is to become friends with them.
I think hes mentally ill; Hes got this idea in
his head that weve had some sort of affair.
If a person is "mentally ill," they are emotionally
or psychologically unstable or sick.
Hes been saying all sorts of strange things and making threats and drinking.
In this case, "sort" is another word for type. A "threat" is the act of
telling a person you may attack or harm them (The verb is to threaten).
The little plastic doohickey is turning blue. Bright blue.
A "doohickey" is a funny word for a thing or
object for which you cant remember the name.
Its too early to be having a party. :: Lets do it mellow, then.
"Mellow" is a somewhat dated word from
the 1960s which means in a calm or relaxed way.
We could have ourselves a tiny Phil or a tiny Teeny.
An important word meaning extremely small.
Teeny is going to have a teeny-weeny Teeny.
A young childs word for very small.
Im calling from the Harlan County Psychiatric Hospital.
A hospital where people with emotional or psychological problems are treated.
It was a wrong number.
The expression used when a person calls your phone number by accident.
That boy is out on his ass.
In this context, if a person is "out on their ass," theyve just lost their job.
Somebody stole $15,000 from the safe. They blew it open with a gun.
A "safe" is a secure metal box for storing valuable things such as jewelry
or money. "To blow open" something is to forcefully or violently open it.
Not only that, but the cops know who did it.
"Cops" is a very common colloquial word for the police.
They say he robbed his folks, too. Took off. You in on it?
If a person "took off," they left, quite often in a hurry. If you are
"in on" an illegal plan, you are at least aware of it and may have actually
participated in it.
I know you two played hooky in the storeroom.
If two people "play hooky," they leave where theyre supposed to be
(in this case at work) , to go somewhere else where they shouldnt be.
Ill never rat on you.
"To rat on" a person is to inform the police or other
authorities after they have done something wrong or illegal.
I dont know what youre talking about. :: Suit yourself.
An interesting little expression that means "OK, be that way,
its fine with me" (If something "suits you," you like it).
You wouldnt want to jeopardize all that by making
some silly error in judgement, would you?
"To jeopardize" something is to put it at great risk of harm or injury.
An "error in judgement" is a complicated way of saying a mistake.
Did you have anything to do with it?
One way of asking "are you involved in this?"
We know youre very tight with Holden. :: I hardly know him.
To be "tight with" a person is to be friendly or close to them. Very slangy.
Fuck them, fuck all of them. :: Hey, they think Im in on it, too.
Note that when "fuck you" is directed toward other people, it simply
becomes "fuck them." Of course, this is equally vulgar! Again, if you are
"in on" an illegal plan, you are at least aware of it and may have actually
participated in it.
That Bible-thumping pervert has been watching us the whole time.
A "Bible thumper" is a person who is always talking or screaming about the
moral lessons one should learn from the Bible ("To thump" is to strike with
a thick object so that a soft sound is produced). A "pervert" is a person
interested in sexual practices that are considered unusual, kinky or inappropriate.
Oh, God, Im getting all goosey. I think Im gonna crash.
If a person is "goosey," they are very scared or nervous (like a
goose). In this case, "to crash" is to faint or lose consciousness.
You cannot raise a baby on the run.
If you are "on the run," you are constantly in the process of
running away from something or someone (often the police).
Heres a story of your life; You inspired me.
"To inspire" a person is to influence them in a way that they
feel moved or motivated to do something creative or different.
Jeez, what do you have to lose?
A great question that is asked of people who must make a difficult
decision. The speaker is saying that you should take the risk since
even if you fail, you will not lose much because you already have so little.
Congratulations on your expectation.
This is Bubbas completely ridiculous way of congratulating
Justine on the fact that she is expecting a baby.
It dont make no difference, as long as it plays quarterback for the Cowboys.
A "quarterback" is the most important position on an American football team,
and the Cowboys are the official football team for Dallas, Texas.
You dont know shit, OK?
A crude way of saying "You dont know anything."
It just means they messed up, thats all.
In this context, "to mess up" is to make a mistake.
It looks like the winds picking up again.
If wind "picks up," it becomes stronger.
Justine is forced to choose between two bad
choices, and then tragedy strikes one more time.
How it all came down to this, only the devil knows.
If a situation all "comes down to" a single decision, then how everything
will end or turn out will be determined in that final action or moment.
I closed my eyes and tried to peer into the future.
"To peer into" the future is to try and judge what will happen
(One can also peer into a window to try and see whats inside).
On my left I saw days upon days of lipstick and clicking clocks, dirty looks
and quiet whisperings, and burning secrets that just wont ever die away.
A clock that "ticks" makes the sound of the second hand moving forward.
If people give you "dirty looks," they are looking at you in a very
disapproving manner, perhaps because you did something immoral.
And on my right, what could I picture? The blue sky and eerie earth
stretching out into the eerie infinity, a beautiful never ending nothing.
Here, "to picture" is to see or visualize. "Eerie" is an excellent
word that means emotionally disturbing, in a strange sort of way. If the land
"stretches out," it goes on and on for a great distance, and "infinity" is
the mathematical word that means unlimited in time, space or quantity..
Whats going on in the bathroom? Looks like a twister hit it.
A "twister" is a tornado, which is a violent whether
storm that rotates or spins with great destructive force.
A standoff between the police and a local man has just ended in bloodshed.
A "standoff" is a tense situation in which two parties (often the police and a
suspect in a crime), face each other with guns, and perhaps try to negotiate
an agreement or deal. "Bloodshed" is lost blood that usually results from violence.
Police had been given a tip that a man suspected of burglaring
a local Retail Rodeo discount store had been staying at the hotel.
In this case, a "tip" is a critical piece of information that helps the police
capture a criminal. "To burglar" a store is to break into it in order to steal
something (This verb is rare; Its better to say "commit a burglary").
Worther allegedly began brandishing a handgun.
To "allegedly" do something is to be accused of doing it, though it hasnt
yet been proven that this is true. "To brandish" a gun is to wave it
around in a very aggressive manner.
Details are rather sketchy; Well continue to monitor the situation.
If details are "sketchy," they are not yet clear or well known.
"To monitor" a situation is to watch over it very carefully.
A spokesmen for the sheriffs office will be joining us for an update.
The "sheriff" is the top police officer in a police department. "To update"
a situation is to let people know everything that is known about it up to\
that point in time.
Holden was a thief and a disturbed young
man, and what happened was a sad thing.
In this context, if a person is "disturbed," they are emotionally unstable.
Perhaps we can learn a lesson from this tragedy, like dont steal
and dont be disturbed. The important thing is to move on.
"To move on" is to decide to look to the future instead of focusing on
something horrible that has just happened. Note that the first sentence is
funny because it is completely ridiculous; You can tell a person to not
steal, but you cant seriously tell them to not be disturbed!
I thought we were gonna get a day to grieve and go to the movies.
Another ridiculous sentence; "To grieve" is to allow oneself to feel
great sadness or sorrow (but you dont usually do it while going to a movie!)
He opened this bill from a credit card company,
and fuck! Please dont tell him about us!
Note the use of "fuck" here as a vulgar filler to express great
amazement or fear, but like "wow!," it has no real grammatical function.
Please have mercy on me!
To have "mercy on" a person is to treat them with kindness,
often despite the fact that they have done something bad.
Have you been sleeping around behind my back?
"To sleep around" with different people is to have sex with them. To do something
"behind a persons back" is to do it secretly, in such a way that they wont find out.
Its your baby! I swear, I swear to God!
Note that "to swear" means both to use vulgar words, and, as in this case, to promise.
Its that Nazarene. Thats why youre acting so spooked.
A "Nazarene" is a Biblical term for a person from the town of Nazareth in modern
day Israel. If a person is "spooked," they are very scared by something in particular.
I want to beat his ass.
"To beat a persons ass" is to violently attack them, or to beat them up.
Youre getting all swollen.
If a body part gets "swollen," it starts to get bigger than
its normal size, usually because it has been hit or injured.
Fake eye-glasses, extra long.
If something is "fake," it is counterfeit or not real or authentic.
You want me to make the other cheek purple to even it out.
"To even out" one cheek with another is to make it as similar to that one as
possible (in this case, to use makeup to make the cheek more purple).
Two beefy guys with painted faces pulled up in a truck and jumped him.
"Beefy" is an interesting colloquial adjective which means muscular and strong.
If a car "pulls up," it comes to a stop, in order for people to get out. In this
context, "to jump" a person is to mug them, or physically attack them with
After spending her whole life never getting got,
with one look they got each other completely.
Here, Justine uses Holdens usage of "to get" to mean understood or possibly
attached to another person. While interesting, "get" is never used this way
(although "I get it" does mean I understand it).
In the end, the girl and boy run away together into
the wilderness, never to be heard from again...
The "wilderness" refers to the great outdoors,
or nature in general, outside of major cities.
The Good Girl
Some Possible ESL Questions for Class Discussion
1. Who are the better couple---Justine and Phil, or Justine and Holden?
2. Why is Justines life so depressing? Are there a lot of people like her?
3. If you were in Justines situation, would you have had an
affair with Holden? Would you have slept with Bubba?
4. Do you know people like Holden? Like Phil? Like Bubba?
5. Whats worse---a bad job that you need to keep, or a bad marriage?
6. What did you like and not like about this movie?