Michele and I saw Gone Girl over the weekend and we were both surprised that the theater was so full (we had lousy seats because we misguidedly got there pretty late thinking the theater would be empty by now). Often, after Michele and I have seen a movie, we will talk about it on the way home and then, when we get home, read various reviews and explanations in a way of continuing the experience. Sometimes I like a movie better than my favorite reviewers, sometimes less – and occasionally much more or much less – but the reviews almost always point out something I missed.
In Gone Girl’s case, we both felt that the movie didn’t hold together, that there were just too many parts that didn’t quite fit. Too many bits in which, on the way home, Michele or I would say Wait a minute, why….? (But that was on the way home, not sitting in the movie theater, there we were both swept up in the drama.) Thinking about the movie in the comfort of our marital home, reading reviews – especially a review and an article in The New Yorker – it became obvious pretty quickly that this was meant to be a modern Fairy Tale, an allegory if you prefer – every bit as gruesome as The Grim Brothers.
This is not a movie about Nick and Amy Dunne’s marriage, this is a movie about Marriage. The unappreciated sacrifices, the built up annoyances that becomes resentments, the disappointments that don’t get addressed, that is part of every marriage. Like all marriages – OK, most marriages – it starts off as the Dream Marriage based on projected fantasies and impossible standards and deteriorates into a power struggle. A power struggle in which the wife is as smart as the husband – maybe smarter – and the husband is as emotional – maybe more emotional – as the wife. Like any marriage, we can take sides but it is hard to think that either side has a monopoly on evil (or virtue).
As Joe Bob used to say Check it out (if you are one of the few people who haven’t seen it already or read the book).