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The Good Life
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The Good Life (2007) More at IMDbPro »

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The Good Life -- Stars Mark Webber, Zooey Deschanel, Chris Klein, Bill Paxton, Drea De Matteo and Harry Dean Stanton are at their best in this thoughtful, searing portrait of life in the all-American, football-obsessed Midwest. Jason Prayer (Webber) doesn't care about football, but that's just one reason he doesn't fit in. To escape his dead-end existence, he retreats into classic old movies- until he meets the beautiful and mysterious Frances (Deschanel). But when Jason learns that Frances isn't as she appears, he makes some drastic decisions in the explosive climax of this drama about one man's search, against all odds, for The Good Life.


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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Stephen Berra (written by)
View company contact information for The Good Life on IMDbPro.
A story about a mostly normal young man who makes the most out of fitting in when he obviously doesn't. See more »
A young man (Webber) is encouraged by a new friend (Deschanel) to cope with living in a town where he doesn't necessarily fit in. | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The get-out-of-small-town story See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Mark Webber ... Jason Prayer

Zooey Deschanel ... Frances

Harry Dean Stanton ... Gus

Bill Paxton ... Robbie

Chris Klein ... Tad Tokas

Patrick Fugit ... Andrew

Drea de Matteo ... Dana (as Drea De Matteo)

Bruce McGill ... Frank Jones

Donal Logue ... Daryll

Deborah Rush ... Diane
Chris Basher ... Bus Passenger
Michael Baxter ... Fred
Michelle Boulet ... Friend #1
Cory Cassidy ... Tad's Friend

Sarah Constible ... Terry

Darcy Fehr ... Friend #2
Ernesto Griffith ... Security Guard

Alicia Johnston ... Anne

Robert Kostyra ... Bus Driver (as Robert Kostrya)

Andrew Krivanek ... Red Face Man
Manfred Maretzki ... Priest
Ross McMillan ... Police Officer (as Ross McMillian)
Curtis Moore ... Gary Turner
Monique Perro ... Friend #3
Kristen Sawatzky ... Friend #4
Dino Schiavone ... TV Store Owner
Candace Smith ... Power Company Woman

Will Woytowich ... John Mackelroy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brad Abrell ... Football Color Commentator (voice) (uncredited)
David Franceschetti ... Kid in red Sweater (uncredited)
Ferrone Gavriel ... Football Fan (uncredited)
Melissa LeClaire ... Football Fan (uncredited)
Alanais Moar ... Football Fan (uncredited)
Michael O'Higgins ... Tad's Friend #2 (uncredited)
Lorrie Papadopoulos ... Counter Clerk (uncredited)

Tyson Wagner ... Fan in crowd (uncredited)

Directed by
Stephen Berra  (as Steve Berra)
Writing credits
Stephen Berra (written by) (as Steve Berra)

Produced by
Gary Berwin .... associate producer
James Henrie .... co-producer
Phyllis Laing .... co-producer
Patrick Markey .... producer
Mike McBride .... co-producer (as Mike Mcbride)
Bill Paxton .... executive producer
Devin Sloane .... producer
Lance Sloane .... producer
Original Music by
Don Davis 
Joel Peterson  (as Joel Petersen)
Cinematography by
Patrice Lucien Cochet (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Sean Hubbert 
Casting by
Justine Arteta  (as Justine Baddeley)
Production Design by
Gordon Wilding  (as Gord Wilding)
Art Direction by
Scott Rossell 
Set Decoration by
Robert Kestler  (as Robert Keslter)
Costume Design by
Darena Snowe 
Makeup Department
Susan Lachowich .... first assistant hair stylist
Jennifer Machnee .... first assistant makeup artist
Beth Ann McIvor .... daily makeup assistant
Doug Morrow .... key makeup artist
Pina Robinson .... key hair stylist
Brenda Rocchio .... hair trainee: FTM
Lori Caputi .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Brenda Magalas .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Brad Arensman .... post-production supervisor
Anastasia Geras .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Danielle Dumesnil .... second assistant director
Richard O'Brien-Moran .... first assistant director
Karla Trujillo Villon .... third assistant director trainee (as Karla Trujillo-Villon)
Colleen Wowchuk .... third assistant director (as Colleen Wowchuck)
Art Department
Gary Barringer .... graphic artist
Steve Benson .... set dresser
Nick Burns .... storyboard artist (as Nicholas Burns)
Jim Cebrowski .... lead carpenter
Bruce Cook .... set dresser
Clarence Giesbrecht .... construction coordinator
Don Greenberg .... assistant property master
Mary Esther Griffith .... key scenic artist
Gerry Gyles .... sets buyer
Joey Jakob .... art department intern: FTM
Donna Jenkyns .... art department assistant
Ken Knight .... drafts person
Alexis Labra .... on-set dresser (as Alexis Lebra)
David Macvicar .... property master (as David MacVicar)
Van McLean .... scenic carpenter (as Van McClean)
Holly Moore .... art department coordinator
Robb Paraskevopoulos .... lead dresser (as Rob Paraskevopoulas)
Brent Poole .... on-set carpenter
Carla Schroeder .... lead painter (as Carla Shroeder)
Jason Wilkins .... props
Shane Clements .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jeremy Balko .... adr mixer
Russ Dyck .... production sound mixer
Brent Findley .... sound effects editor
Jason Gaya .... assistant sound editor (as Jason 'Frenchie' Gaya)
Scott Hinkley .... sound re-recording mixer
David Hughes .... assistant sound editor
Spencer Johnson .... sound effects editor
Cody King .... foley editor
Richard Kitting .... sound recordist
Andrew Morgado .... adr mixer
Andrew Morgado .... foley mixer
Vic Radulich .... adr editor
Vic Radulich .... dialogue editor
Sacha Rosen .... cable puller
Dino Schiavone .... boom operator
Daniel Tripoli .... adr editor
Daniel Tripoli .... dialogue editor
Vicki Vandegrift .... foley artist (as Vicki O'Reilly Vandegrift)
Jonathan Wales .... sound re-recording mixer
Jacob Weinstein .... assistant sound editor
Scott Wolf .... sound designer
Scott Wolf .... supervising sound editor
Rick Skene .... stunt coordinator
Rick Skene .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Mark Beauchamp .... second assistant camera (as Mark Beaucamp)
Michel Bernier .... first assistant camera
Meredith Budgen-Starnes .... second assistant camera (as Meredith Starnes)
James Chrysler .... electrician
Roger Finlay .... camera operator: "a" camera
Conroy Finnegan .... grip
Bryan Forde .... gaffer
Terence Fuller .... grip (as Terrence Fuller)
Sean Gilles .... lead grip (as Sean Gillies)
John Gilmore .... best boy electric
Doug Kiddell .... electric
Doug Kiddell .... rigging gaffer
Hans Kooij .... video coordinator: 24 frame
Steve Madden .... dolly grip
Laurence Mardon .... gaffer
Jim McNulty .... generator operator
W. James Meagher .... electrician (as James Meagher)
Joseph Micomonaco .... first assistant camera (as Joe Micomonaco)
William Mills .... key grip (as Bill Mills)
Christophe Nachtigall .... best boy grip (as Christopher Nachtigall)
Daniel Quesnel .... loader
Rebecca Sandulak .... still photographer
Daniel Suave .... Steadicam operator
Daniel Suave .... camera operator
Amy Vincent .... additional photographer
Michael Kelly .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Reil Munro .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Betty Ann Conard .... casting: Montana
Eleanor Erum .... extras casting: Winnipeg (as Leah Erum)
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Jim Heber .... casting: Canada
Kari Rieger .... extras casting: Winnipeg, Kari Casting
Joey Ritche .... casting assistant: Canada (as Joey Ritchie)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michelle Boulet .... set costume designer
Devora Brown .... costume truck supervisor
Maureen Petkau .... assistant costume designer
Sandra Soke .... costume assistant
Lauren D. Martin .... daily costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Anthony Bozanich .... assistant editor
Daphne Dentz .... digital intermediate supervisor
John Dietrick .... first assistant editor
Mark Dinicola .... digital intermediate colorist
Rob Evans .... colorist
Christopher Gillaspie .... digital intermediate scan manager
Mato .... color timer
Carol Wenaus .... assistant editor: Winnipeg
Location Management
Will Brewster .... location scout
Cathie J. Edgar .... location manager (as Cathie Edgar)
Alexandra Menzie .... key location production assistant: off-set
Dave Priestly .... key location production assistant: on-set
Gary Barringer .... location scout (uncredited)
Andrew Gallinger .... location assistant (uncredited)
Steve St. Louis .... location scout (uncredited)
Music Department
Nico Abondolo .... musician: contrabass
Christine Bergren .... music clearance
Belinda Broughton .... musician: violin
Denyse Buffum .... musician: viola
Rebecca Bunnell .... musician: violin
Tom Calderaro .... music preparation
Gloria Cheng .... musician: paino
Paul Cohen .... musician: cello
Don Davis .... conductor
Don Davis .... orchestration
Bruce Dukov .... musician: violin
Julie Eidsvoog .... music preparation (as Julia Eidsvoog)
William Francis .... music preparation
Brenda Heins .... assistant music editor
Tiffany Hu .... musician: violin (as Tiffany Yi-Hu)
Dennis Karmazyn .... musician: cello
Janet Lakatos .... musician: viola
Ana Landauer .... musician: violin (as Anna Landauer)
Sungil Lee .... musician: violin (as Sunhil Lee)
Michael Markman .... musician: violin
Bruce Morganthaler .... musician: contrabass
Bob O'Donnell .... orchestra contractor
Melissa Phelps .... musician: violin (as Melissa Phelps-Beckstead)
Tim Pierce .... musician: guitar
Kazi Pitelka .... musician: viola
Rafael Rishik .... musician: violin
David Rosen .... musician: cello
David Sherr .... orchestra contractor
Haim Shtrum .... musician: violin
Nicole Simone .... soundtrack
David Speltz .... musician: cello
Armin Steiner .... music scoring mixer
Junko Tamura .... music preparation
Damon Tedesco .... mixing engineer
David Walther .... musician: viola
Miwako Watanabe .... musician: violin
Gefang Yang .... musician: violin
Transportation Department
Dale Bracken .... unit driver
Boris Danyliuk .... driver
Dave Perich .... driver: cast (as David Perich)
Brent Rimmer .... honeywagon operator
Scott Sullivan .... picture vehicle coordinator
Garry 'Diesel' Trosky .... transportation coordinator (as Diesel Trosky)
Ralph Walker .... transport captain
David Wharry .... driver
Jeff Zaporzan .... honeywagon operator
Julia Diana Cereceda .... unit driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Neal Baksh .... on-set assistant location manager
Kelly Boulay .... stand-in: Zooey Deschanel
Tony Braga .... security coordinator
Emma Cooper .... publicist: Los Angeles
Colette Desjardins .... post-production accountant
James Durham .... stand-in: Bill Paxton
Adeline Elias .... production accountant
Jay Ellison .... production assistant: L.A.
Wayne Glesby .... security captain
Cindy Harrison .... craft service
Cindy Harrison .... first aid
David Henri .... production assistant: L.A.
Paul Hurst .... assistant production coordinator
Ashley Kravitz .... clearances
Sean Madden .... assistant: Patrick Markey
Lisa Manchulenko .... assistant: first aid/craft service
Chris Mangano .... production assistant: L.A.
Crystal Grooms Mangano .... production assistant: L.A. (as Crystal Grooms)
Manfred Maretzki .... stand-in: Harry Dean Stanton
Lynn Marlow .... craft service assistant
Tamara Mauthe .... production coordinator
Caitlin McGinn .... office production assistant
Conor McGoey .... set production assistant
Alanna Mills .... script supervisor
Cody Moore .... assistant: Steve Berra
Wyatt Nelson .... production associate
Becky Pelto .... first assistant accountant
Ashley Perkins .... assistant: Lance Sloane
Marcel Perro .... stand-in: Mark Webber
Monique Perro .... assistant: Patrick Markey
Rick Plaseski .... stand-in: Bruce McGill
Johanna Robin .... post production accountant
Jonathan Royal .... sous chef
RoseAnna Schick .... electronic press kit (as Roseanna Schick)
RoseAnna Schick .... publicist (as Roseanna Schick)
Matthew Schimnowski .... stand-in: Chris Klein
Andy Shaw .... caterer
R. Morgan Slade .... stand-in: Patrick Fugit (as Morgan Slade)
Kehly Sloane .... production associate
Ryder Sloane .... electronic press kit
Ryder Sloane .... production assistant: L.A.
Ryder Sloane .... publicist
Karla Trujillo Villon .... set production assistant (as Karla Trujillo-Villon)
Kevin Uddenberg .... assistant: Steve Berra
Shelly Anthis .... extras wrangler (uncredited)
Dave Brown .... firearms safety coordinator (uncredited)
Ryan DeLong .... extras wrangler (uncredited)
Ross Ikeda .... post-production accounting (uncredited)
Allan McGowan .... security officer (uncredited)
Benjamin R. Reder .... production legal counsel (uncredited)
Genico Aiello .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of: SK8 Skates Shop
Gary Belz .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Gary Berwin .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Doug Block .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Kenny Boyce .... acknowledgment: the filmmakers would especially like to extend our gratitude to, Special Liaison To The Mayor of Winnipeg
Mario Candiani .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Tom Celani .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Michael Costigan .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Boots Del Biaggio .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Blase Dillingham .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Neil Grayson .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of: The Dactyl Foundation For The Arts And Humanities - New York City
Jim Greco .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Craig Hagen .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
James Keeley .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Ron Kinnear .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of: The Thirsty Ear, Bozeman, MT
Andy Kroot .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Jeffrey S. LaPour .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of (as Jeff Lapour)
Bob Lundstedt .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
David McBride .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Ezri Namvar .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Bill Pullman .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Luc Robitaille .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Stuart Rosenthal .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of: Bloom, Hergott, Diemer, Rosenthal, La Violette, and Feldman LLP
Paul Schrage .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Dave Shein .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Jim Shockley .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of (as James Shockley)
Darren Tappen .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Kevin Tsujihara .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Carole Vivier .... acknowledgment: the filmmakers would especially like to extend our gratitude to, Manitoba Film And Sound (as Carol Vivier)
Shane Wallace .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of: Active Mailorder
Bill Warden .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of: Sound Pro, Bozeman, MT
Cartney Wearn .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of
Tom Wright .... producers gratefully acknowledge the valuable assistance of

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language
Germany:90 min (European Film Market)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | USA:R (certificate #43205)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Drea de Matteo and Donal Logue portray a couple in this movie. They both would go on to play characters on FX's Sons of Anarchy. However, they share no scenes.See more »
Jason:They call the hole left by the passage of a bullet through the body a permanent cavity. A permanent cavity is what cops strive for when shooting someone dangerous. They say the best bullet for the job when trying to incapacitate someone dangerous is the one that's bigger, the one with the most velocity, the one that creates the largest permanent cavity, the one that kills faster. What I think would be worse is being hit by a smaller caliber bullet over...See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)See more »
Don't Lose Your ShadowSee more »


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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
The get-out-of-small-town story, 19 December 2009
Author: Siamois from Canada

This is at its heart a story we've seen in movies many, many times, either as a primary or secondary plot: Mid-20s underachiever feels alienated and lacks true purpose in life while caught in a small town.

Jason (played my Mark Webber, a brilliant up-and-coming actor you will hear more and more about) suffers from a disease that makes him lose all his hair. He lives with his vulnerable mother, who keeps holding him back because she is unable to care for herself. He cannot connect with the rest of his awkward family. He works several low-paying jobs, including one at a theatre. The theatre's owner is mentally ill and so, Jason must also take care of him.

Throughout the duration of the film, we see him interact with other individuals, most of which are quirky, most of which seem just as alienated about this "good life" in Nebraska, with unrealized ambitions, broken dreams and broken lives.

This kind of synopsis might appeal to me if I hadn't seen it all before, several times. But where The Good Life redeems itself somewhat is in the execution. Stephen Berra has written organic, believable characters, starting with the protagonist Jason, who has to battle several issues including the legacy his father has left to him. There is a haunting theme throughout the movie that people around Jason have raised the white flag on a better life. Jason's father has done worse, abandoning all hope not only for himself but for his loved ones, inviting them to give up as well.

The other key character here is Frances, a role perfectly suited for the charming and quirky Zooey Deschanel. When Frances meet Jason, she becomes a catalyst for his renewed interest in fighting for his life. A true good life. But unlike the prototypical feel-good Hollywood movie, Frances is not just a device to allow Jason to go on to a better life. She is human and flawed and her sudden interest for our underachiever is complex like all real life relationships are.

And this is where I think this movie shines. The various people Jason meets and interacts with all seem to have their own problems. There is no wise sage around the corner waiting to selflessly give a hand. Selflessness might be the trait that most defines Jason. Underneath, he has all those aspirations, on the surface he neglects his true self while living a life he finds pointless.

And so to me, the movie is mostly successful in making you reexamine the mutuality of relationships, the duties we impose upon ourselves and our true motives. Is being selfless always a good and noble act?

If you enjoy indie dramas and the themes described above, you may enjoy The Good Life as I did.

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See more (13 total) »

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Question about the end. (Spoilers). pixen_marre
Zooey Deschanel's role Panterken
Frances/Zooey Deschanel (spoilers) mooingmoos
The gift that Jason gets from his father's aparment? (SPOILERS!) ofshoesandshipsandceilin
Why won't someone buy this film?! Pelinor
What I leaned from The Good Life...(spoilers) stevesms
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