In my review of “Don’t Worry Darling” last September, I said this about its star, Florence Pugh:
She has a hell of a career ahead if she chooses her projects wisely. Even when she doesn’t (it happens to even great actors), she’ll be someone worth watching.
Well, Pugh’s next project is here, but sadly it’s nowhere near as good as her last one.
In “A Good Person,” written and directed by Zach Braff, she plays Allison, who’s happily engaged to Nathan (Chinaza Uche). But that relationship ends when she’s distracted by her phone while driving and hits a construction vehicle backing into her lane. Her passengers, Nathan’s sister and brother-in-law, are both killed. Allison survives, but becomes addicted to painkillers that send her life into a downward spiral.
At the urging of her alcoholic mother (Molly Shannon), Allison goes to a twelve-step meeting and runs into Daniel (Morgan Freeman), the forty-years-sober father of her ex-fiancé and his dead sister. Rather than rejecting her, he embraces her and tries to steer her back to sobriety while he tries to raise the teenage granddaughter who became an orphan after the crash.
Braff, who also directed the execrable 2017 remake of “Going In Style” (which I reviewed here), does nothing interesting with his characters or camera, and the result is a below-average Lifetime movie. If not for the presence of Pugh and Freeman, it wouldn’t even be worth writing about.
I have no idea who the audience for “A Good Person” will be in its theatrical run. Her young fan base — which knows her from “Midsommar,” “Black Widow,” and “Malevolent” — won’t care much about a heavy-handed woman-in-rehab story that’s been told dozens of times before. For everyone else, it comes off as mere melodramatic treacle.
I guess I’ll have to wait to see if Pugh makes a better choice with whatever she does next. For now, I’m giving “A Good Person” a 3 out of 10. Opens tomorrow in theaters.