Gone Girl Review

Let me start out by saying I read this book over a year ago. And I liked the book…somewhat. Or more specifically, I thought the book was okay. Just okay. But I had heard that people who didn’t go crazy about the book in return LOVED the movie. So when I got around to seeing this film, I was optimistic. I’m not the biggest Ben Affleck fan but I do like Rosamund Pike, the British actress who got the main female role, as well as some of the supporting players in the movie, including Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris. So there I go, all prepared to like it, though not love it. And I would say it met my expectations but most definitely did not surpass them.

The plot revolves around a couple, formally happily married, who move from NYC to Missouri to be closer to his family. After the move, their relationship begins to slowly unravel. All of this does not help when the wife goes missing and the husband is less than upset. Is she dead? Where’s her body? Did he kill her? Why isn’t he more distraught?

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To be honest, I am not a Ben Affleck fan. And I have seen many of Kevin Smith’s films and am not crazy about him either. So, I went into watching this movie with no expectations whatsoever. I chose to watch the movie, on an airplane, only because I had seen all of the other selections. After saying that, I find it all the more surprising that I loved this movie. Even Ben Affleck didn’t bother me as I became entranced in the story and with the characters. Affleck plays an entertainment publicist who, right at the beginning of the film, falls in love, marries, and prepares for fatherhood. After his wife dies in childbirth, he has to find a way to combine a tough business persona with that of a loving, compassionate father. It is a heartwarming film that does not have as many of the predictable elements most films of similar themes have. It has characters you fall in love with, who can melt your heart just by giving the right kind of look. It’s not the best film ever made, but it is one of the best of its kind made in recent years.

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Since I wrote a post on the 2003 version, here’s my post for the 2009:
As I wrote in my post for the 2003 BBC TV production of this tale, it is a well-done, intense political thriller…that is a must see. This one is about 4 hours shorter than the British TV production, but it is just as taut and gripping as the first…maybe even better since it does that same job in a feature film length. Keeping most of the story in tact, this version has a congressman caught in a sex scandal with a murdered young researcher from his office. The congressman’s former roommate is a reporter who is on the story and trying his best to keep both his loyalties to his congressman friend and his newspaper job. Like All the President’s Men, this film really takes you inside the inner workings of a Washington D.C.’s newspaper office…keeping the nightmare pace and the cutthroat-ness in tact. I’m sure the newspaper biz is hectic and frantic in most of the country, but add in the turmoil of political and you get a hellish frenzy. Excellent performances by all make this movie a fabulous political and journalistic thriller. Watch both versions and compare for yourself!

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