Goodbye, Lover movie poster
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Goodbye, Lover movie poster

Goodbye, Lover - Movie Synopsis & Plot

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In a sun-dappled metropolis, Sandra Dunmore (PATRICIA ARQUETTE) could be the girl next door. In fact, she is the girl next door: beautiful, friendly, a devout churchgoer, a fervent believer in self-help tapes and always doing good unto others. Just as long as others are willing to return the favor. In her zealous quest for a much bigger piece of the good life, Sandra may have to step on a few toes-in her stiletto heels. But that doesn't make her bad. It simply makes her a product of our times.

Sandra's on her way up, but her ad exec husband, Jake (DERMOT MULRONEY), is on a downward spiral, apparently flailing in a morass of alcoholism. Although Sandra sells high-priced real estate, this doesn't begin to support the lifestyle they both so desperately desire.

Sandra and Jake aren't the only people who want things in this city of unfulfilled dreams. Jake's older brother Ben Dunmore (DON JOHNSON), a spin doctor and high -powered public relations executive, wants to preserve his access to the good life. And there's Peggy Blaine (MARY-LOUISE PARKER), an insecure junior of Ben's staff, with plans of her own. They're all young, beautiful and openly avaricious. But then it's the 90s; who doesn't feel entitled to having it all, especially when it's all tantalizingly within reach?

Seeing through everyone's agendas is Rita Pompano (ELLEN DEGENERES), a heard-it-all-before detective who just may have all of their numbers. She knows what people are about, and she doesn't expect too much from them. It's a narcissist-eat-narcissist world out there. Life is shades of gray, and Pompano knows that better than anybody, because she's a little gray herself.

Self-realization and upward mobility aren't easy tasks. Fortunately, in this age of images and icons, Sandra can rely on plenty of off-the-shelf advice, and even a role model or two. She mirrors them in her own special way, with a song in her heart and a big bright smile on her face. She's smart enough to keep up on all of her self-interest payments. When she eventually achieves a few of her favorite things, you can bet she won't feel so bad. Would anyone?

"Goodbye Lover" is a wry look at life, a thriller filled with an enjoyable gallery of characters who aren't quite what they seem and have learned not to seem quite what they are. But hey, they've got mountains to climb.

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