Movies Based on Books: Gone Girl

November 10, 2014

Gone Girl

The best thing for me about watching movies in the theater is observing audience reactions—especially one that’s based on a pretty popular book. I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (my Goodreads review) about a month before going to see it whereas the friend I went with had read it more than a year ago. The women sitting behind us clearly hadn’t read it AT ALL, and so we all had different reactions to what happened.

See, the crazy was fresh in my mind, and my friend remembered that there was a lot of crazy, even if she couldn’t remember anything beyond the big stuff. Those other women, though? Gasps and exclamations throughout. Lots of “OMG” and “What the…?” Me, I was just like, “Yep, everybody in this story is still crazy.”

As for how I felt about the movie, I thought it was a pretty solid adaptation. All the main points were hit and some stuff was condensed for the movie, but, all in all, I had the same reaction to the book as I did to the movie–mainly that everyone was terrible except for Go and Boney, and they were the only two I felt anything for. Oh, and I thought Tyler Perry was awesome as the lawyer. I liked that character more in the movie than the book.

There were two changes that I didn’t particularly care for:

  1. In the book, Nick drinks pretty constantly, and I don’t think that was emphasized as much in the movie.
  2. I was really, really upset by something that happened at the very end.

[SPOILER]I hate, hate, HATED that Nick physically assaulted Amy at the

First, the point was that he didn’t and wouldn’t. Second, it just brought up all kinds of icky “she deserved it” feelings/commentary that should not have entered the conversation. My friend is a DV advocate, and she had very mixed feelings about it, and we both agreed that it just should have been left out altogether—especially since it wasn’t in the book. We know he’s frustrated; we know he feels powerless. Even her non-reaction was troublesome. Ugh, that whole part annoyed me. Just…let’s not.


Now that that’s out of the way, this movie also crystallized something else for me:

I really hate sex scenes. The nudity didn’t bother me at all (except during that one scene, which is supposed to be bothersome because it’s the height of effed up). But I seriously do not need to see people have sex, even if they are fully clothed. I mean, after about two seconds, I get it. They’re having sex. Okay. Can we move on now?

(I feel the same way about sex scenes on TV. And I grew up watching soap operas! Which, again, I always felt those sex scenes went on too long, and those are just people rolling around with sheets strategically covering their bodies and soft music playing. Seriously, though: WE GET IT.)

(I realize I may be in the minority on this.)

So, yes, that’s my big takeaway from Gone Girl: I hate sex scenes. Also, you know, I still like Go and Boney the most. (I was going to say love, but really. Neither version leaves a lot of room for love at all.)

In conclusion: A great adaptation, which left me feeling pretty much exactly the same as the book did.

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