A Good Person: Is the Movie Based on Real People?

Image Credit: Jeong Park/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

‘A Good Person’ is a drama film directed by Zach Braff, starring Florence Pugh (‘Midsommar‘) as Allison, a young woman whose life drastically changes after an accident. Years after the fatal mishap, she embarks on a journey of self-healing and forms an unlikely bond with her would-be father-in-law Daniel (Morgan Freeman). Powered by stellar performances from its cast, the movie packs plenty of emotional punch while realistically exploring some relatable themes. Hence, viewers must wonder if the emotionally resonant story is based on actual events. So, if you wish to discover whether ‘A Good Person’ is inspired by a true story, here is everything we know!

A Good Person is an Original Screenplay

No, ‘A Good Person’ is not based on a true story. The film is based on an original concept from Zach Braff, who wrote the screenplay. He is primarily known for his acting career and is remembered for his performance as J.D., the daydreaming protagonist of the medical comedy-drama series ‘Scrubs.’ However, Braff is also a reputed filmmaker known for his debut directorial feature ‘Garden State.’ Released in 2004, the romantic comedy-drama film earned critical acclaim and emerged as a box office success, gaining some spotlight for Braff’s writing and directing skills.

Image Credit: Jeong Park/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

‘A Good Person’ is Braff’s third turn directing a screenplay he penned following 2014’s mildly received comedy-drama movie ‘Wish I Was Here.’ Although the film’s screenplay is based on a fictional concept, Braff’s personal experiences motivated him to write the story. In an interview with Entertainment Weekley, Braff opened up about the conceptualization of the movie. He revealed that the untimely deaths of his loved ones in recent years and the resulting grief contributed to the foundation of ‘A Good Person.’

A few years before writing the movie’s screenplay, Braff lost his father, sister, and two close friends in quick succession. The resulting grief motivated him to craft a story encompassing his experience of losing his loved ones. “I was just overcome with not only experiencing grief myself but experiencing how the people closest to the grief were able to stand back up after the tragedy,” Braff said in the interview. “And so that’s what I really wanted to write about,” he added.

Nevertheless, Braff noted he did not wish to explore the tragedy of grief and wanted to use his genuine take on the theme, incorporating humor in dark situations. “Some of it is heartbreaking, but I also wanted to write about it with my own style, which is to find the humor in it all,” Braff said. Furthermore, the writer-director cited James L. Brooks’ 1983 family comedy-drama film ‘Terms of Endearment‘ as a significant influence on his work.

In the movie, Allison, a young woman, goes through drastic changes in her life after losing her fiancé during a fatal car accident. The film explores the nature of grief and its emotional impact on individuals through Allison’s bond with her late fiancé’s father. Moreover, the movie tackles the theme of substance abuse as Allison relies on drugs to overcome her grief. “A lot of times when grief happens, tragedy happens. Human beings reach for anything to numb the pain. So it just felt like something pretty universal. Everyone knows someone who’s an addict, and everyone can tap into those feelings of wanting to help them,” Braff told The Independent about the movie’s general theme.

From Braff’s words, it is safe to infer that the movie is not based on actual events. It is a fictional story that explores the theme of grief and tragedy, albeit with a hint of humor. The movie finds its emotional core in the unlikely relationship between its two main characters, who help each other overcome a tragedy. Besides, Zach Braff’s personal experiences with grief and the loss of loved ones help the screenplay and its universal themes emotionally resonate with the viewers giving ‘A Good Person’ a semblance of reality.

Read More: Where Was A Good Person Filmed?