My choice fell on the rather blandly named "All Good Things" (that's mistake number one right there: Everyone knows "All the Good Things" sounds much better, only to be surpassed by the far superior variant "All of the Good Things"), a film which is, to put it very simply, about a couple - played by Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, whose story spans from the early 1970s up until the early 2000s.
The fact that my first impressions were somewhere along the lines of "why the hell is John Krasinski looking so thin in the face" probably only confirms that I've watched the entire run of The Office (US) one too many times (which, however, does not mean I will stop anytime soon). Meaning: It took me a while to get back into that mindset of Ryan Gosling being the only good thing to have ever happened to the world (and I'm still not sure whether I have got back into that mindset, as you may be able to see from the upcoming review).
Professional Rich Boy David Marks (your boy RG) is just being all super-seventies in 70s New York City when he meets not-so-rich Katie (your boy Kirsten) in a very porn-esque "I've come to fix your leaky sink in a tuxedo"-scenario.
Fast forward a few years and the happy couple have moved to Vermont (which is so close to being an anagram of "remote" it's not even funny anymore) to open a health food shop called (get this:) All Good Things. But only for about 5 minutes, before they move back to New York so Ryan can continue to be professionally employed by his daddy.
It slowly becomes apparent that Rich Boy Gosling is actually quite disturbed, due at least in part to a traumatic event that happened in his childhood, and that there is much more darkness to him than those reflective washboard abs might suggest.
|dat blanket tho.|
After many years of marriage with some problems and an ever-increasing distance between them, Kirsten Wife-Dunst eventually goes missing at what seems like a very late point in the movie - but then the movie still goes on for quite a while, so I guess that makes up for it(?). I won't say too much more in order not to give EVERYTHING away in case, ya know, you wanted to watch it or something.
What I will say, however, is that this film is based on a true story (which I wasn't familiar with), and that apparently the man RG's character is based on - Robert Durst - is still alive and apparently appeared on the DVD commentary, which may seem a tiny bit weird considering that the film heavily implies he was involved in his wife's "disappearance".
ALL BAD THINGS
My main negative criticism of this film - and Ryan Gosling in general, to be honest (wow, I'm really getting disillusioned with someone here) - is a whole lotta mumbling. Yes, mumbling. In the early stages of the film, it almost seems like the editing was done in such a way as to help you along with your impaired understanding of the film, when a scene in which Ryan Gosling mumbles something that can only be transcribed as "Wuhmaryam" is directly followed by a scene of the two lovebirds in wedding attire. For fudge's sake, OPEN YOUR MAGNIFICENT MOUTH!
Like, I know he's super hot and everything, but he does this in every film, and if he still wants to have a job in 30 years' time, maybe he should consider enunciating a little clearer, or louder, or at all.
|Also, apparently, there's a kink in Gosling's genetics that makes |
him turn into Chevy Chase once he reaches the age of 50.
Aside from that, as I mentioned earlier, it seems odd that the central conflict of the film - Katie going missing - seems to be almost an afterthought of everything else.
Let me just say that I was of course, as for all my film reviews, substantially distracting myself from watching the film, so this may have contributed to my finding the before/after-missing-split somewhat awkward. Also, the mumbling didn't help.
On the other hand, there was a lot of ground to cover time-wise, so you had David and Katie when they met, looking positively youthful and fresh-faced, and then ten years later, which for the most part just involved Ryan Gosling donning dad-glasses and a less cool haircut to signify Ageing. Then much later, he magically turns into Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (see picture above), but not before indulging in a brief stint of disguise-related cross-dressing, which, when he's not wearing the wig, gives him a sort of Andy-Warhol-aesthetic (see picture below).
|"yeah I'm into art now. and coffee"|
If nothing else, this film shows one possible explanation for what happened to the real life Kathie Durst, who actually went missing, and whose case has not been solved. Whether it's the truth, well, no one knows, I guess. I'm not sure whether I would have liked the film more if it weren't based on a true story. Or if I'd liked it more if I hadn't known it was based on a true story.
I don't know whether I even liked this film at all.
It was a film, that's for sure.
It was okay.
But: If I ever do get my hands on some capital, I will open my very own
health junk food shop, and I will call it "All of the Bad Things".
|TAKE. THEM. OFF!|
P.S. - I am both fully aware and willfully ignorant of the possibility that "All Good Things" may have been chosen by the film-makers partly in order to evoke the mental continuation "...must come to an end" in viewers and re-viewers of this movie. I nonetheless remain a staunch advocate of the heavy and constant use of prepositions.
P.P.S. - While I was adding pictures to this post, I mistakenly uploaded the following gif, which was, ahem, just sitting in my pictures folder, I honestly have no idea where it came from, and which I think I should share for you all to enjoy.