Gone Girl

October 5, 2014 - Gillian Flynn brings her best-selling tale of a marriage gone horribly wrong to the big screen. Flynn wrote the script for director David Fincher (Seven). Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike play the unhappy couple. The supporting cast includes Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens and David Clennon. And, it's always nice to see Sela Ward, even if her role is very brief.

Affleck and Pike play Nick and Amy Dunne. They both work as writers in New York City, and Amy has some money from a series of children's books her parents based on her. A few years into the marriage, money troubles and family problems start to take their toll. They move to Nick's hometown outside St. Louis, and Nick takes a job as a writing instructor at the local community college. They spend the last of Amy's money to buy a bar that Nick and his twin sister, Margo, run.

On their five-year wedding anniversary, Amy disappears while Nick is out of the house. The police are called, and the detective on the case (Dickens) soon settles on Nick as her prime suspect. For his part, Nick behaves in ways that don't help his case. But, he insists he is innocent, and eventually, he's proven right.

Overall review: ** if you've read the book (which I have), *** if you haven't. The acting is fine. Pike is appropriately cold and calculating; Affleck has the look of a man who understands what's happening to him but doesn't know how to stop it. Flynn's script largely follows the plot of the book, and the plot translates to film pretty well. But, what doesn't come through is the Midwestern rot (for lack of a better term) that permeates Flynn's novels. Her books use the economically depressed suburbs to add to the suspenseful atmosphere. The movie has snippets of that, but not enough to really have an impact. It's up to the characters to supply all the emotion, and there's not really enough of that, either.