GONE GIRL // THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK & MOVIE

Gone Girl

Ok, here we go. If you haven’t read Gone Girl or seen the movie — I’m telling you right now this post is a MAJOR SPOILER ALERT — so if you want to read/see it without knowing everything do not read on. But do come back later and chime in on the discussion with your thoughts!

I want to start by saying that I read the book a year ago so it wasn’t fresh in my mind when I went to see the movie. Which I think was actually a big benefit to my enjoyment level at the movie. So, if you read the book a while ago and thought you needed to read it again or freshen yourself up on the story before you go see the movie, I suggest not doing that.

I went to see the movie a few weeks ago with some of Creative Collective ladies — and then we all went to Bandolero for blood orange margaritas afterward to discuss everything about it.

Every time I read a book I picture the characters in my mind, and when I found out who the actors were, I thought Rosamund Pike was the perfect Amy Dunne. Ben Affleck was going to have to convince me he was Nick, but I was going to give him the opportunity before I judged him. Must say casting Neil Patrick Harris threw me. I didn’t look into that character before I saw the movie and didn’t realize that he was in it, so when he came out as Desi I was a little shocked. I think he acted it well, but I think I thought Desi would be slick and Italian looking for some reason.

I also thought Amy’s mom was off. She was way too old looking. Not chic at all and her hair, no. I also thought the casting, wardrobe, and hair for her parents were a major flaw in the movie. Just because her parents used her name as the character in their books and then asked for their money back, to me, didn’t seem to drive someone to the level of crazy manipulative that Amy was. I wish there would have been more of that story shown in the movie. Why was Amy so disturbed before finding out Nick was cheating on her?

I thought the music was phenomenal. And Tyler Perry as Nick’s lawyer was a wonderful choice. Overall the way the movie was shot and produced I thought was great. It was very close to how I pictured it in my head. Also, being from Missouri it looked very authentic to me. Though in the book it seemed to me that the neighborhood they lived in was more worn down from lots of foreclosures due to the economy during the time period of the story and it didn’t appear that way in the book, so the neighborhood threw me a little.

Overall, I was definitely entertained by the movie, and since I had read the book so long ago, I forgot how the Desi situation ended — so that scene was a huge surprise to me. But I thought the book was much better than the movie. Had the movie delved into areas that weren’t in the book it would have possibly been better. But since it stuck so close to the book — which maybe was Gillian’s preference since she wrote the screenplay — anyone who remembered the book well or read it recently might not have been as entertained since they knew everything that was coming. So basically, I liked the movie, thought it was good and overall well acted and shot. Music was great, and the story almost identical to the book — and I don’t think that was necessarily good in this case. I however was entertained for the entire movie, but I thought the book was way better. Aren’t almost all books better than the movies?

I wanted to get a few other opinions on the movie and/or the book and share them:

I did read the book. In fact, I finished it a week before I saw the film, which might be why the movie left me wanting more – it was fresh in my mind. I love the story and think that Gillian Flynn is a genius, or perhaps a disturbed psychopath herself (kidding, maybe). Books are always better than the movie versions, in my opinion. But this movie specifically fell flat for me. Had I not read the book first, I don’t know if I would have ever felt like I got to know the characters. These are complex, mentally unstable people and the movie made it seem like they were just playing a game. Their development was just not there, especially in regards to Amy’s psychosis. The fear, the anger, the vengeance, the seriousness of it all seemed lost to me on film, especially at the end. I didn’t experience the inner struggle and the conflict in the same way I did when I read Flynn’s words.

— Katie Anderson, Modern Eve

For all its layers and emotional complexity, I found the book to be incredibly gripping and was propelled from cover to cover in a single weekend. The film, however, progressed in fits and starts, and at times I even found myself feeling bored. Moreover, had I not known the story in advance, I’d have left the theater questioning the motives and of nearly every characterwhich is exactly what my date spent our car ride home doing
In short, rather than finding a way to stand alone as its own entity, the movie tried too hard to be exactly like the bookan impossible task that left it hovering in a netherworld of plot holes, stunted pacing, and faulty character development. 
—Anne Sage, The City Sage
Please leave your opinion on the book & movie in the comments!
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Photo by Meg Biram