Gone Girl (2014)

You know that “Cradle of Love” video by Billy Idol? “Janie’s Got a Gun?” by Aerosmith? “Vogue” by Madonna? All David Fincher, made before he got the chance to make Alien 3. We’ll forgive him that — and the fact that he had to work on Jermaine Stewart’s video for “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.”

After all, you kind of have to like a guy who has said, “I think people are perverts. I’ve maintained that. That’s the foundation of my career.”

Between ZodiacSevenFight Club and The Social Network, most of Fincher’s work is the kind of stuff that ends up on a poster in dorm rooms. That’s not a bad thing — he’s the dark side of popular film. He’s also behind the Netfilx show Mindhunter.

The real issue I have with him is Gone Girl.

It’s not his fault.

I’ve had to endure Gillian Flynn’s work in all manner of media. Sharp Objects ran our TV for most of 2018. And Gone Girl? This movie gets played in our house at least once a week.

I hated this movie the first time I saw it. And by now, my reaction is the kind of numb ennui that a naked Ben Affleck feels just before you marvel that this movie is brave enough to share a shot of his meat.

Mr. Affleck and his appendage appear in movie as writing teacher Nick Dunne, whose wife — the inspiration for a popular series of chidlren’s books called Amazing Amy — has gone missing on their fifth anniversary. All signs point to the fact that he was an abusive husband and had her killed.

The reason for that conclusion is that he doesn’t seem to care. Perhaps if you had lived with Amy (Rosamund Pike), you may feel the same way. Sure, it started off hooking up at a party and were soon engaged, but after they both lost their jobs and moved to Missouri, Nick got lazy and started cheating on Amy (with Emily Ratajkowski, she of the nudity in the “Blurred Lines” video).

The twist is that Amy is still alive and has framed Nick for murder. She’s planned each step so well, stealing urine from a pregnant neighbor, using he rblood to create evidence that she was hurt and then planting a diary and a multitude of purchases that look like things Nick had bought for himself. Of course, she didn’t expect some backwards yokels to steal her money or that she’d have to hook up with her old stalker, played by Neil Patrick Harris.

So who is wrong? Nick for giving up on their marriage? Or Amy for the things she’d done to so many men in the past? How about both of them? How about some sympathy for me having to watch this movie nearly two thousand times?

But hey — Tyler Perry is pretty good in it, right?

Also: David Fincher shot 500 hundred hours of footage for this movie. 500 hours. Just imagine that.

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