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Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

How're ya gonna keep her down on the farm since she's from the Big Apple?

Gone Girl

Plot Overview

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home early after his neighbor phoned him that his cat is out, to find some broken furniture and his wife Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) missing. The North Carthage police would not normally jump on a missing person case so fast, but there was evidence of foul play. Amy being from New York was maladapted to small town Missouri life, she didn't have any friends, so I'd just assume she left for greener pastures, but her journal paints a darker picture of her married life. On the other hand, she's a well known authoress of a children's book series, The Amazing Amy, in which she's reinvented her­self in print after her parents showed her sister marked favoritism, so we're not so sure how much of her journal is embellished.

For that matter Nick is an author in his own right of men's magazine articles (on how to choose a good cigar, or what­ever), so he's able to give the police a good story of his own … although there are holes that he doesn't want them to fill. The police try to develop their own narrative:

Officer Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit): “You ever hear the expression the simplest answer is often the correct one?”

Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens): “Actually, I have never found that to be true.”

Amy's parents are hopeful of her return, and Nick's practical sister Margo (Carrie Coon) shares their optimism (“Who­ever took her is bound to bring her back.”) The media is full of innuendo, and the grass roots volunteers gossip. Nick's celebrity lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) tries to implicate Amy in her own dis­appear­ance when he learns she has a history of men stalking her or committing sexual assault. And last but not least is Nick's dad Bill (Leonard Kelly-Young) who suffers from Alzheimer's and can't find his own way home, much less any­body else's.

As the movie progresses in medias res from one (dated) timeframe to another, some­times the same period from different perspectives, the chances of an audience figuring out what really happened are probably improved if they don't assume they know too much to start with


Nick first picked up Amy at a party where both of them were smooth talkers—being authors gave them a command of the language—to the extent of criticizing others' English faux pas. But for all that when further down the line Amy bought Nick a bar, he (and his sister partner) named it simply The Bar. This gives me pause, so I decided to try some free word associ­ations. Down the block from the theater a couple fellows exited a bar in front of me, and one turned to the other and said, “That really was a gay bar!” So I got as far as: the bar … gay bar … happy hour. Hmm.

Our English word gay is taken directly from the French gai with the same meanings (i.e. happy, colorful, licentious, or homo­sexual) but the French also use it to mean mildly intoxicated as we would say tipsy. The dyads above have two entirely different meanings, gay bar & happy hour (l'heure gaie), as can happen when one word is connected to another, like, say on the hill and over the hill, where hill means Congress in the former case, middle age in the latter.

Although same-sex marriage is coming to America, to some states at least, Missouri doesn't have it, not when this movie was made (2014), but Nick and Amy moving there from New York had a gay marriage in the Mickey Mouse sense of the 1935 song, “Mickey's Son and Daughter,” in which, “the stork has brought/ A son and daughter/ For Mr. and Mrs. Mickey Mouse.// A million million people/ Are happy, bright and gay./ Bells are ringing in the steeple./ It's a public holiday.” Nick and Amy kissed kiss in a sugar storm the night they met, Amy's in-print version of herself (viewed by millions) always looks happy and gay, especially when she got married (“Amazing f___ing Amy is getting f___ing married!”), and their wedding, and subsequent anniversaries, was on July fifth on the heels of America's fire­works-laden public celebration (the fourth.) The couple's celebration involved an exciting treasure hunt, following clues to locate their gifts.

In “Gone Girl” Amy disappeared right on their fifth anniversary, so Nick with Det. Boney were following together the same clues to find her and her present as a product of Nick & Amy's wannabe gay marriage. Nick never got busted for a gay marriage even though same-sex marriage was not legal in Mo. That's cute. Gay marriage is not the same thing as same-sex marriage. The screen­writer being also an author of the book is tweaking us a little. Missouri being a death penalty state stands in for it being a state that differs from New York in marriage laws, also.

What happened in our broader society is that same-sex marriage was thrust upon us by judicial fiat as some­thing not existing in all of recorded history, nor was it even part of any political philosophy, so its vocabulary is brand new, and it's our artists who help us assimi­late it into our language, especially in its synonyms. The legal philos­ophy is that it doesn't harm straight (hetero­sexual) marriages. But if a dyad, gay marriage, excludes other meanings, that would harm heteros if they want to have an unrestricted vocabulary to communicate with each other (“What are you thinking? What are you feeling?”) about the happiness they want to achieve in their marriage, aa in (Eccl. 9:9) “Live joy­fully with thy wife,” if the gays have preempted the dyad for them­selves. In my state of Oregon, the advocates of same-sex marriage were deliber­ately careful not to use the dyad gay marriage with regard to their petition, so it's not their fault (at least not here), just general incom­petence when the news­papers use it wrongly.

The plot of “Gone Girl” twists around on itself until it's focused on marriage itself. Since Nick and Amy had premarital sexual relations, it's not surprising Nick could be tempted as a teacher by one of his students once his marriage was in a slump. And Amy after suffering a child­hood of her sister getting the better of her, is not going to take it lightly when she discovers some floozy doing it to her again. But if they had children in those first five years, Nick would have been a responsible dad and saved the whole community a world of grief. There­fore, apart from any religious reasons that this movie doesn't get into, marriage is presented as a place where babies are wanted, as in the Amish and Mennonite communities both mentioned. There's even a sub­plot of one woman's pregnancy standing for another's, suggesting the adoption option for couples who can't them­selves.

The same-sex marriage question is approached from a unique angle here. It's been presented to us at large as a means for two same-sex pairs who love each other to further express that love. Nick and Margo are close and were taunted by bar-talk as having “twincest.” Who is closer than twins? but to avoid inbreeding we don't let brother and sister marry. A same-sex marriage of two brothers, or of two sisters, though, would not result in inbreeding, so the same rule wouldn't have that reason to apply. There­fore, a same-sex marriage follows a different dynamic and should not be lumped in with matrimony but have its own category as a domestic partner­ship with the marital label attached, as one can say of any two closely joined entities that they are married. Nick's board game, say, Master­mind was a marriage of rule and intellect (master and mind.)

Production Values

“Gone Girl” (2014) was directed by David Fincher. Its screenplay was written by Gillian Flynn from his own novel Gone Girl. It stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Kim Dickens, and Neil Patrick Harris. Afflect, Pike, and Dickens were great, Pike showing a commanding range. Harris didn't do much real acting, but since he was portraying a creep any­way, we can just chalk it up to more creepiness. The back­ground music was okay but run of the mill for thrillers. The editing did a good job of helping us find our places. It's rated R for a scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This is a great movie because it kept us guessing all the way and took us to a place we weren't expecting, all the time engaging our interest. It showed a writer's flare for language use but kept that part in the shadows. It was an altogether good experience seeing this movie and I highly recommend it.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Five stars out of five.