The Sunday Salon: Gone Girl and We Bought a Zoo
Sunday, October 19, 2014
It's 6.30 AM now as I type up this post. I've been up for a while - certainly early for me for a Sunday, but glad to take advantage of it now that I cannot go back to sleep. Later today, we are planning to drive along the Blue Ridge parkway and see the Fall colors. I've been gearing for this trip for months and there was always something in the way. Fall's definitely in town now. All the leaves haven't turned yet but enough to give a nice warm color. But it's been cold and windy!
Gone Girl. Both of us had read and enjoyed the book when it came out, except for that somewhat anti-climactic ending. (SPOILER THOUGHTS START: I thought them killing each other would save humanity and also make me feel that all that drama up until that point was not for nothing. SPOILER THOUGHTS END) However, I wasn't sure at all that they could make a successful movie out of a book whose main selling point was the fact that the reader is inside the heads of two messed up characters. It would be very hard to put the viewer inside the head of a movie character.
But the movie was good. Better than good. So much better than I thought it would be. For one thing, the evil is much more real in the movie. Even though I knew what would happen, I still jumped in my seat at some parts. The acting was also pretty solid. Moreover, even though the movie stayed true to the book throughout (based on my recollection of the book two years after reading it), I was able to accept the ending now that I saw it on screen. It made sense, and why not? That's what Amy wanted all along and she could either continue the fight or do something about it and be the winner.
While still on the movie Gone Girl, did anyone else keep count of the number of times Amy gets hit in the head? I counted three - twice by Nick and once when she gets robbed. It seemed supernatural that she lived through it all without so much as a grimace. I do have to admit something though - something that I felt after reading the book as well. Even though I thought Amy's character was super insane, I was proud of the girl for not submitting to her crappy life and trying to do something about it. Of course, she used several questionable methods to get that done, so that's where the love ends. However, the movie felt very sexist to me. I don't remember getting that vibe from the book but it's possible I just don't remember that anymore.
Watching this movie has made me crave some Gillian Flynn so I started reading her Dark Places last night.
We Bought a Zoo this week and that's another book I loved when I listened to it about a year or two ago. Unfortunately, although the movie was enjoyable in its own way, it was not true to the original story for the most part. In the book, Benjamin Mee's wife was alive for a good part of their adventure with a zoo they had just bought. But Mee gets a new love interest in the movie and I thought that was a little disrespectful to the original Mee (I wonder what the original Mee thought about it). The book was focused on some on Mee's wife's struggles with cancer and their journey through renovating and reopening a dilapidated zoo. The movie focused on Mee's new love interest, his fragile relationship with his son that suddenly gets resolved one day without much explanation, and a tiny bit on the zoo. It was disappointing though Matt Damon's acting was pretty good. I may have enjoyed it more had I not read the book but I kept thinking unkind thoughts about Mee's love interest (even though I like Johansson) and that ruined the movie a little for me.
Have you watched either of these movies?