Gone Girl: My Theory Supported

Last weekend marked my return to the movie theater after many, many months of absence. I say that like I regularly went before baby- truth is that I struggle to sit through movies, even more so when I’m stuck in the confines of one seat for hours at a time. Nonetheless, my husband and I both wanted to see Gone Girl (me because I was curious to see if this would back up my “bad books make good movies” theory, and my husband because he loves the director, David Fincher), so we abandoned the kid and went.
Several months ago I wrote about my lackluster feelings towards the novel by Gillian Flynn. I thought the writing was mediocre, the characters flat, and the entire premise (including the ending) downright ridiculous. Scratch that- not ridiculous, stupid. There were spots that were difficult to get interested in and others that I wished would hurry along- the pacing was poor. And I didn’t have a problem that the characters were despicable, as I don’t need to like the people I’m reading about (I know this is a common complaint in a sea full of accolades).
The movie, though, was great. I was a little apprehensive that it was over two-and-a-half hours (I prefer ninety minutes), but it didn’t feel like it all (until I had to pee, anyway). While the dialogue and plot events were basically identical to the novel, it was in many ways very different. The acting absolutely made the movie- Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike were phenomenal, as were supporting actors Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris. They absolutely nailed it.
The movie’s tone is vitally different than the novel- it’s far more of a satire than the original. I often felt that it was almost making fun of the book, on some level- Affleck and Pike are deliberately overacting, producing this sort of hyper-aware, tongue-in-cheek, borderline campy feel at times feel (should I start a movie review blog, guys? Ha!).  Fincher is directly critiquing the role of the media in our lives, both their ways of spinning things and the public’s ways of believing them. He’s commenting on marriage and trust (although I will give the book credit for maybe doing this at least slightly). He’s showing us how scary boredom, childhood scars, and money woes are.
I find it fascinating that Flynn wrote the screenplay for this movie- if you look at the script alone you would simply see the book condensed. But yet with the acting and direction something much more emerges, something richer and more cerebral. It’s subtle,  but powerful.
Did you see it? Did you read it? Thoughts?  


  1. Haven't seen it yet but as soon as my exams are done, I'm there.

    Agree with you - I thought the book was pretty stupid but while I was reading I did keep thinking "This will make a top movie".

  2. I actually enjoyed the book...BUT I LOVED the movie! I thought I was the only one who found the film interpretation better than the book. I was glued to the screen throughout...and I'm going to want to see it again...and again!

  3. I felt the same about the book. There were a few interesting passages that made me think (particularly the idea of the "cool girl"), but overall I found it forgettable and overrated. That being said, I can't wait to see the movie.

  4. I haven't seen the movie yet - the only time we had someone able to babysit, the only showing not sold out that day was at 1020pm! Also, I too have a hard time sitting through a movie, although, I'm a lot better about it if I'm at the theatre, and movies over 90 minutes make me anxious as well, haha!