Saturday, June 15, 2024

“Gone Girl” Cast Parties Behind Bodyguards At New York Film Festival Opening


“Gone Girl”? Gone event. The New York Film Festival opening at the newish Tavern on the Green was pretty much of a bust last night. For the first time in the fest’s history, the cast and crew of the opening night night partied in a private room while the rest of the invitees were locked out. Security guards blocked the entrances to the VIP event and no one at the main party ever saw Ben Affleck, the cast, or director David Fincher.

The joke, of course, was that lots of A list people who expected to mix and mingle with the “Gone Girl” gang were stuck outside — and literally outside. That’s because the new Tavern on the Green has much less indoor space than the old one thanks to the removal of the famed Crystal Room. Tavern has been reduced in size and glamor quite remarkably. It’s like someone snuffed out all of its joie de vivre. What a shame.

Meantime, many of the movie execs, press, New York Film Fest guests and so on debated the whole issue of “the book vs. the movie” as Gillian Flynn’s novel has so many fans. They were busy explaining the “Gone Girl” story to those of us who were underwhelmed by Fincher’s often over the top take on what is being described as a manifesto about marriage.

“This will be a tough sell,” declared one veteran actor. “It’s not a slam dunk at the box office.” The set up of “Gone Girl”: Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) comes home to find his wife (Rosamund Pike) is missing. It looks like there’s been a scuffle at their lovely suburban home. Nick looks around but he doesn’t try to call his wife’s cell phone, or call her friends, or her family. He just calls the police, they arrive, and look around. An orange cat follows them around.

The investigation Amy’s disappearance could make the film “Chasing Amy,” an early Affleck film. Eventually it’s concluded, or decided, that Amy must be dead. Nick doesn’t shed any tears because he’s been having an affair with a 20 year old college girl. Also, his twin sister didn’t like Amy. They bring in her parents; her father is played by Miles Drentell from “thirtysomething.”

There’s a plot twist, of course. I can’t give it away. If you’ve read the book, you know what I mean. And then things go way over the top. There’s a lot of mustache twirling. Some of the acting, like Neil Patrick Harris’s, gets very “General Hospital.” And then there’s a shocking act of violence that requires buckets of Max Factor blood.

I disagree with the veteran actor. “Gone Girl,” like “The Fault in our Stars,” should be a $100 million movie thanks to the book’s huge readership. The first two weekends should be big. Oscar buzz? I’m not sure. But “Gone Girl” seems like it’s perfect for the Golden Globes.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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