I just saw Gone Girl and it was one of the most offensive, flippantly sexist, arrogant, misogynistic excuses to make a film about a “crazy bitch wife who only wants babies and manipulates everything.” I am so mad, and everyone else in the world seems to love it.

This thread popped up yesterday on a women’s Facebook group of which I am a member. The thread is now 23 comments long, and the opinions of the commenters vary wildly. The truth is: no one knows quite what to make of Gone Girl, the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 pulpy thriller. Since its release last week, a flood of articles untangling the adaptation, by director David Fincher with Flynn as screenwriter, has swarmed the net – and they’re all asking a similar question.

Eliana Dockterman, writing for TIME Magazine, asks: ‘Is Gone Girl Feminist or Misogynist?’ So does Alyssa Rosenberg, for the Washington Post, who queries: ‘Is Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne a misogynist? A misandrist? Or both?’ In GQ, celebrated feminist blogger Lindy West writes about ‘Gone Girl’s Girl Problem’, Huffington Post’s Nikki Gloudeman opines on ‘Gone Girl’s Rape Problem’, while over at Vulture.com, Amanda Dobbins boldly declares: ‘Yes, Gone Girl Has a Woman Problem’.

Seems like there’s a problem, huh?

At the centre of this ‘problem’ is Flynn’s protagonist, Amy Dunne, WASPy wife of Nick Dunne. [Warning: spoilers.] Amy disappears from their Missouri home on their fifth wedding anniversary under suspicious circumstances. While America searches for Amy, and Nick is implicated in her presumed murder, Flynn is preparing for a clever half-time twist.

[Warning: spoilers.]

In fact, Amy Dunne is not dead; she is simply a calculating wackjob who planned to frame her husband for her ‘death’ after discovering his infidelity with his 23-year-old student.

Here’s where people run into trouble.

Amy Dunne is variously described in the aforementioned think pieces as ‘a sadistic, diabolical, murderous psychopath’, ‘the crystallisation of a thousand misogynist myths and fears about female behaviour’ and

a real grade-A bitch. Horrible. A truly legendary piece of work.

She is all of these things. She is a sickening, delicious villain.

What’s wrong with a female villain? Amy’s villainy is certainly an interesting contribution to the map of female representation in literature and on film. Bald-faced evil from a female character is a wholly unexplored trope, particularly in film. And Amy is certainly an advancement from Glenn Close’s Anne Archer in Fatal Attraction – a woman whose femaleness made a psychopath of her, and who is accordingly punished for stepping outside the bounds of acceptable femininity.

Frequently, when a female villain is accorded her own perspective in fiction, it is merely to shed a sympathetic light on her ‘badness’. Consider Wicked, which peddles the appealing idea that The Wicked Witch of the West (dubbed Elphaba), that iconic terroriser from Frank L Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, is just a misunderstood softie at heart. In Wicked, Elphaba is kind to her disabled sister; her love turns young cad Fiyero into a credible romantic partner; and she throws herself into the pearlescent waters of sisterhood with Galinda. She’s  ‘acceptable femininity’ – a misunderstood hero.

How about Disney’s most recent fairytale revision, Maleficent, where Angelina Jolie gives a softer edge to the antagonist in Sleeping Beauty? As Lindy West points out, Maleficent is musty with tired feminine tropes – ‘the sullied innocent’, ‘the broken woman redeemed by motherhood’ – designed to make the character an appealing and (scourge the word) ‘likeable’ protagonist.

We deserve better, more complex baddies. We deserve a story that says: ‘women can be true villains’, like the character in Leslie Hedland’s brilliantly acerbic Bachelorette. Amy Dunne is a gloriously unflinching monster who, unlike Anne Archer, emerges as the overall victor in her grotty battle with her misogynistic and borderline sociopathic husband. She is a compelling terror: like Jamie Dornan in The Fall, she is revolting and yet troublingly watchable.

Yes, her scorched-earth attack against Nick is triggered by his infidelity – making her a ‘scorned lover’ – but her psychopathy is fuelled by something far more interesting: a narcissistic assumption that everybody should play by her rules. As Nick attests: ‘Here’s the thing you need to know about Amy: she likes to play God.’ If Amy is ‘playing God’ we should erect an altar, because she successfully moulds the world in her image and, at story’s end, everyone has bowed down.

Here’s the real problem: this twisty book, with its multi-faceted perspectives, was never going to make a faithful film adaptation. Fincher’s film is excellent. It is dark, cold and clinical; it’s stunningly shot and creepily scored. Fincher manages, against every expectation, to wring a genuinely captivating performance from Ben Affleck (that hunk of mashed potatoes moulded into a cleft chin and a smarmy grin). He sharpens the droll, playful camp of (the usually contemptible) Tyler Perry into the most appealing clown in the piece. It’s a great film – but it’s a terrible adaptation.

Flynn’s halftime twist (and Affleck’s star power) necessitates the privileging of Nick’s perspective in the film. We see everything through his dull, Poor Slob eyes, and we’re allowed to sympathise with him. Sure, he’s a cheater, but she’s a physcho! Sure, he briefly tries to throttle his wife, but she’s a murderer who is trapping him in their façade of a marriage! Book Nick, the Nick inside whose brain vitriolic ranting spins – about women, how they behave and, significantly, what they owe him – is gone. In his place is a hopeless man-child hero with whom we are all too familiar.

Even before discovering his wife’s deception, Book Nick imagines murdering Amy several times. The opening chapters are dotted with gory, noirish flashes, Nick’s visions of Amy ‘on the floor of our kitchen, her hands around her belly and her head bashed in’. Nick has an explosive temper – a violent streak that Amy exploits in her invented diary entries. When Noelle Hawthorne confronts him at the vigil, his first thought is for Michael Hawthorne: control your wife.

I wanted to smack her. This is Nick’s mantra, repeated as his mistress, his mother-in-law and his sister begin to doubt him. And Nick’s father is a crumpled, cruel misogynist, a spectre of Nick’s future. His words become Nick’s: I’ll kill her, I will fucking kill the bitch. Bitch bitch bitch.

None of this is in Affleck’s performance – not in his dialogue, not hiding behind his ‘killer smile’. So Flynn’s work, which I read as a dark satire of marriage and gender stereotypes, her dissection of hatred, becomes one-sided. It paints with the man-hating feminazi brush – the tool of choice for the Men’s Rights movement. As Gloudeman asserts, in Flynn’s convoluted novel it’s often hard to tell whether she is ‘trafficking in stereotypes or subverting them’. In Fincher’s film, the mud is cleared away, and subjectivity and interpretation are stolen from the viewer.

I return again to the moment in the film when Affleck, in a fit of rage that is both sickening and disturbingly understandable, throttles Rosamund Pike’s Amy against a wall. The violent movement was greeted with gasps in my cinema. It also – worryingly – elicited laughter. The thinking, no doubt, is that Amy (that ‘Psycho Bitch’) deserved it. Amy’s murder of Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris) was received in a similar fashion. In the book it is never described in detail, but I imagined clinical Amy cutting away at sleeping Desi like a dispassionate surgeon. In the film, Pike, mid-sex, slashes Desi’s throat and rolls him and her (still … er … attached to one another) in his blood until he dies. It’s gory and silly, and I laughed along with the rest of the cinema.

The first moment is ridiculous. It trivialises domestic violence and steps towards explaining it away. The second moment is no doubt designed to sway the audience against Amy – as if we needed any more help.

At the end of Flynn’s novel, I had the sense that this horrible couple deserved each other. Gone Girl, as Dockterman asserts, ‘pits a feminist psychopath against a misogynist jerk in what might be the world’s most twisted marriage.’ Both Amy and Nick lie to and manipulate the reader, vying for sympathy and support, and joy of the novel is realising you should support neither.

But in the film, Nick’s cruel, misogynist voice – every bit as evil as Amy’s psychopathy – is lifted out. We’re left with a Mad Misandrist, a woman who lies, murders and (most egregiously – in plots I found distasteful both in Flynn’s novel and in the film, but which deserve more airtime than one or two lines in this article) invents rapes and domestic abuse. And she gets away with it! Who wouldn’t hate that woman? Who wouldn’t see her as a distillation of every grubby trump card anti-feminists hold against the movement for gender equality?

I don’t want to hand ammunition to those who would use Amy Dunne as some kind of feminist Sign of the Apocalypse (we give them the power, and they turn around and murder us). But I prefer to think about Gone Girl in the same way as Vulture.com’s David Edelstein:

a profoundly cynical portrait of all sides of all relationships: First you’re blind to the truth of other people, then you see and wish you could go back to being blind.

To me, Amy is a rare female depiction of a character that is frequently portrayed on page or screen – and that is always, unquestioningly, male. Because of that, Flynn’s story is important. Gone Girl is pulp fiction but it’s also a complex social critique, and it demands a more nuanced response than ruffled reprimand.

Matilda Dixon-Smith

Matilda Dixon-Smith is a Melbourne-based freelance writer, editor and theatre-maker.

More by Matilda Dixon-Smith ›

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  1. I just do not get what is so inventive or subversive about a film about a woman who manipulates people’s desire to protect her by making up false allegations of rape and abuse. You’re reaching. It’s a tired, sexist trope just as much as the damsel in distress. Flynn is on record as saying she was tired of all the “brave rape victims”. Where exactly is she seeing these? Because I’ve seen movie after movie where the “twist” is that the victim was lying, or somehow was just as bad as her attacker. It’s a snooze. It’s also the linchpin of both the book and the movie. I’d add that Flynn’s other book Dark Places features a manipulative 12-year-old who lies about rape and defames an innocent man, so this is clearly a bit of a theme with her. My understanding is that she also adapted the screenplay — so let’s not be so quick to separate the themes of the more subtle book from the straightforwardly gory movie.

    You get the sense that Flynn most identifies with Margot and the female cop — women who know how evil women are at heart, who see through all their whiny bullshit, who protect and sympathise with men accused of these crimes. They’re clearly the most sympathetic characters. There’s not a woman in this story who’s a victim of men’s violence who’s not ultimately written as a liar, a bitch, and a thief. The most cringeworthy scene for me wasn’t the part where Amy fucks herself with a wine bottle to mimic rape injuries — although that was pretty hard to sit through — but the scene where the healthily sceptical cop pokes holes in Amy’s story but is told to back off by protective men. This is a fucking fantasy world depiction of how rape is treated by police, for starters, but it’s also deeply telling about which kind of woman Flynn thinks we should be. Is a story feminist just because it features sympathetic female characters? That’s one point I’d agree with Flynn about — it’s not.

    I do peer education in high schools around rape and domestic violence and one of the biggest issues we run across is that the kids believe that it’s common for women (and children, even) to lie about these things when in fact it’s extremely rare. Media isn’t all-powerful, but it’s influential in forming these beliefs. It’s hard for me to see a film like Gone Girl as anything but deeply harmful.

    1. I agree with your comments, Liz.

      In the film, Margo and Detective Bony serve as sympathetic female witnesses—sisterly and maternal respectively—to flawed but redeemable Nick’s gradual uncovering of Amy’s controlled, ruthless duplicity.

      Amy on the other hand is anything but empowered, any authentic subjectivity overridden by the irreparable neurosis resulting from her parents’ emotional abuse. By the end we learn that despite her savant-like villainy she’s unable to function and survive apart from Nick, and must return to a codependent hell of her own devising.

    2. The article shows incredible naivete and is clearly tainted through the prism of an angry woman.

      Gone Girl was excellent. The character was similar to my last girlfriend who has borderline personality disorder (a legitimate medical condition that many feminists claim to be sexist by definition). It was hard for me to watch and relive some of the same behaviors I was personally exposed to in that relationship. Guess what? Bad, unstable girls exist. There are a lot of them. And there are just as many bad women as bad men – time to accept that instead of practicing reverse sexism.

      1. I know this is from over two years ago, but BPD is a very misunderstood illness. One of the issues that shows your sexism is that you or the feminists you mention assume it is a female issue. It is not. Just as many men have BPD as women. Also, people with BPD are not sociopaths. Amy in this film is a sociopath, not Borderline. BPD also for decades was misunderstood and mistreated. Now, thanks to Marsha Lineman, it is understood better and your attitude is part of the problem.

        Now, I will not give you crap for breaking up with your ex. You have no responsibility outside of taking care of yourself and I don’t mean to make it sound like you are a bad person for breaking up with her. All I want is for you to understand that BPD is not the same thing as a sociopath, that it is highly treatable, and your ex should be in a combination of DBT and mild mood stabilizers. This works amazingly for people with BPD.

        I will, however, implore you to look into your own language and possible issues with women. Like you, I have been burned, abused, and hurt by women in the past, but after coming to turns with my own issues, I realize that it is not a “prism of an angry woman”, but a prism of an angry person. Defining people by their gender (although useful in many regards) can lead to either stronger empathy, or generalized anger against the entire gender. I developed a generalized anger against the gender and had to deal with my own insecurities and issues for years until I came to terms with why I was angry. I hope that in the last two years you have been through a similar journey. And I hope that we both can come together and be better, more understanding men towards people, not just women, with these mental illness that are widely misunderstood.

  2. I thought that the Affleck character was a complete and utter creep and that was fully there in how he was portrayed; but his sister was nearly as bad and there were numerous other truly vile and creepy people in this movie. I would say that the Pike character suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and is incapable of viewing other people in any context other than how they effect her or can be used by her. I know plenty of women just like this. In the end these two horrors are there in a horrible marriage and a hideous relationship and the ones you really fear for are the unfortunate babies they might have. It’s almost a relief, though, to see a woman in a movie who is in control of the agenda and is not being controlled by others as so many female characters are in movies. Yes, women are victims in some circumstances and domestic violence against women and rape are endemic to our society. But they always were. And there have always been women like Amy, who maintain a mask as they go through life and who are capable of great harm and great violence to others while playing the passive victim. This movie in no way condones violence to women. It is the kind of psychological study of a sociopath in a destructive relationship that Hitchcock did so well. And love it or hate it, it’s such a bloody relief to see a woman dominating a movie from beginning to end instead of having to watch crap like Batman, Superman and the entire carnival full of male freaks that now passes for a Hollywood blockbuster. You only have to think about great movies like ‘Leave her to Heaven’ or even ‘Rebecca’or’Double Indemnity’ to realize that there was a time when a woman could be the villain and not just a victim.I think the response to this movie is because we all know that women are not ONLY victims and that they can be strong, intelligent and bad too.For me ‘Gone Girl’ references ‘Marnie’, ‘Suspicion’, ‘Vertigo’ and a host of movies, movies such as ‘Mildred Pierce’or ‘Body Heat’ which featured female monsters. I’m a feminist but we lose something by pretending that women are only ever victims and we deny women a fully human status by doing it.

    1. I think that you have some solid points, but there’s an issue with your diagnosis. Amy is a sociopath. She doesn’t have NPD. NPD is closer to Kanye West than sociopathy. People who suffer from NPD have major, major insecurities that lead them to have such a high opinion of themselves as a way to distract from those insecurities. However, sociopaths (like Amy), tend to be narcissistic. It goes with the territory. To not have empathy for others requires one to have a high opinion of themselves. The difference is that there isn’t a masking of insecurities. People with NPD do not commit murder. They do not plan out elaborate schemes to frame others. They just are unbearable to be around because every story is about how great they are, every moment of conversation is about them and their accomplishments.

      So think more Donald Trump/Kanye West, less Amy. Amy is closer to Ted Bundy (basically a female version): a smart, attractive, successful sociopath that’s willing to kill and destroy to get what they want.

  3. The problem I saw with Gone Girl was that it duds women in respect of female desire, as affective experiences quickly become individualized (desocialised) – Gone Girl always was going to be a mainstream box office monster and it knows it – unlike its pulp fiction predecessor which has a better grasp of female desire – where affective experiences are dressed with meanings not usually evident in so-called real life.

  4. I can only agree with Liz that a film like ‘Gone Girl’ is not only harmful but deeply misogynistic, and on top of that utter fantasy. For someone like myself who works professionally in the area of family violence – primarily with with men who use violence but also with women who have experienced male violence,- ‘Gone Girl’ buys into and inflates half-baked and deeply entrenched notions of women as pathological liars and schemers.
    ‘Ruffled reprimand’ as a descriptor, and an admonition, I’m having trouble getting my head around. It’s ludicrous to call ‘Gone Girl’ ‘complex social critique.’ ‘Social critique’ would be, for example, the increasingly accepted idea (in the circles I move in anyway) that it is men who use strategies of deception and entrapment in pulling women into abusive relationships, not – as Hollywood stereotypically tells us – women. A woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner in Australia every week, and thousands of women in attempting to escape abusive relationships are stalked, harassed and terrorised and punished for years by their male partners. Fantasies about murderous scheming women masquerading as thoughtful social comment is not helpful. The abuse and murder of women and children is a global and national problem of epidemic proportions, and to see arguments for insane nonsense such as Gone Girl being debated as though they have merit is galling in the extreme.
    It reminds me of those people, sometimes other professionals, who on commenting on the work that my colleagues and I do, slyly say ‘But what about abusive women?’ as though they’ve cleverly caught us out. An adequate reply to such statements is probably unprintable, even in Overland.

    1. Thank you for your work and your comment. I completely agree. There are some good films that deal with abusive males, but they are usually very difficult to watch because for many of us it hits too close to home. I like to think of films as “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Burning Bed”, or “Once were Warriors” (this one is especially difficult because it’s “hero” is a horrible, reprehensible man and the damage he causes to his family), handle this well, but they are extremely difficult to watch.

      The other issue is that there are a bunch of really bad exploitative films like “Sleeping with the Enemy”, or any number of TV movies. I think it’s difficult for films like these to be made well because so few women 1. make films in general and 2. few men have the ability to tell this kind of story. So many men have internalized the fear of meeting an “Amy” that they identify with this film. But having them watch something like “Once were Warriors” shows misogyny at its worse and they tend to make excuses for the behavior. “Jake is just a horrible person! There’s no way that I would do that”. I think we need more films about gaslighting, or manipulation from men so we can understand more of toxic masculinity.

  5. For me, the great in Gone Girl was the final ten minutes, so moronically implausable that many in the audience of the showing I saw laughed. I was engaged with the film until the point where we find out she’s not dead. All the tension disappeared and was replaced by Mission Impossible antics that ruined any credibility the plot had to that point.
    As to the female antagonist’s characterization, I didn’t see it as a misogynist trope. She’s a fictional archetype having characteristics: insecurity, psychopathy, cunning, manipulation etc, designed

  6. Whoops, pressed the wrong button on the last post, sorry. As I was saying, … She’s a fictional archetype having characteristics: insecurity, psychopathy, cunning, manipulation etc, designed to create drama and milk audience reaction for all it’s worth. Just as Hannibal Lecter did in Silence of the Lambs. Primary, I think, is that it is a work of fiction — a suspension of reality. Are the males in any audience going to think: Oh, so that’s what women are really like! And, as Antonie Hildebrand says in her earlier post, women can be as bad as men, as Myra Hindley, Rose West et al attest. Valid then, for authors/screenwriters/directors to draw on these in fictive media.

    1. Yes, men are going to think ‘that’s what women are really like’. And so are women.
      Comparing Amy Dunne with Hannibal Lecter isn’t useful. One is not comparing apples with apples, as it pushes the issue of gender very quietly off the stage. As does a statement like ‘women can be as bad as men.’ That makes a chain of a not uncommon reasoning: Amy is like Hannibal; because women can be as bad as men; and so fictionalising violence in this way is ok, because nobody believes it anyway.
      Whenever the gendered nature of a violent crime is pointed out, the most common response is that the perpetrator was ‘sick’ or that ‘not all men are like that’ or ‘women are just as bad as men.’ It’s a very effective way of closing down the debate, and shunting gender out of the picture.

      1. I disagree with your opening 2 statements/sentences, Stephen. First you don’t support or make a case for them, and second, I would amend it to: men (and women) are going to think that’s what SOME women are like. And they would be entitled to think that. Again I point to real life women (Rose West, Myra Hindley etc), who are examples of women from which a character such as Amy Dunne can logically be drawn. And I’d reiterate that the writer (and director of the movie) are creating a FICTIONAL female character to facilitate a dramatic plotline. And do your opening statements relate to every movie with a woman in it, or only the ones where they are portrayed as being capable of evil? I’d also contend the logic of your argument: ‘That makes a chain of a not uncommon reasoning: Amy is like Hannibal; because women can be as bad as men; and so fictionalising violence in this way is ok, because nobody believes it anyway’. Amy, in terms of her function as a fictional creation, is like Hannibal. And women can be as bad as men. I saw Amy (I can’t even assume what the rest of the audience thought) as an unhinged person (a female character) doing some pretty destructive acts to another person (a male character). For the majority of movies, I’d suggest, this is a gender reversal of character functions. I didn’t see the evil being done as gender specific, in fact you could just as easily swap Amy’s role to that of the husband and vice-versa, something that has been done in numerous films.

  7. OK so I must preface my comments with the following facts: (1) I have not seen Gone Girl (2) I have not read Gillian Flynn’s novel and (3) I am a male living in and a product of a society that, whilst in a state of constant flux, remains deeply patriarchal and continues to treat misogyny with an air of banality. Whether my comments have any relevance to this discussion is therefore debatable and yet I am compelled to comment nevertheless.

    To those few who are still reading my contribution despite my concessions, my perspective is this: the power of feminism (and indeed all forms of identity politics) lies not in its direct challenge to dominant and destructive narratives but in revealing and legitimising a wide spectrum of female narratives and in allowing women the fundamental right to choose their own authentic narrative and determine her place within it. It is through this enabling of narrative pluralism that the dominant patriarchal narratives can be weakened and hopefully rendered unreflective of the female experience. By enabling women the freedom to choose their own identities, however, the dominant and patriarchal narratives must remain a legitimate source of identity construction for women should they choose to exercise their freedom by adopting them. Restricting the spectrum of available narratives is, in itself, an act of oppression and results in the paradoxical conclusion that in order to free women from dominant patriarchal narratives, they must be free to adopt them (with the proviso, of course, that we foster a climate of self-reflection wherein all chosen narratives remain open to criticism and challenge.)

    A further complication arises, as in this case, when the medium in which a female has chosen to construct a female narrative is adapted by a male director and transferred to a medium limited in its ability to portray the nuances of the original narrative. Much becomes lost or transformed in translation.

    The point, however, is that just as all narratives must open themselves to criticism and debate, all narratives must be first be enabled and empowered if the destructive ones are to be successfully overcome.

    Rant over. I hope this made some sense.

  8. It was not that far back (1990s sometime) that rape was classified by law as a crime of violence against women. A film such as Gone Girl peels back any ground won through such a law by naturalizing violence in the tragic sense that that that’s how people are and nothing can be done about it, so women continue to suffer, as ever.

  9. A fantastic film. Misogyny is the subject but I don’t think it is a misogynistic film, it is aware of itself. It shows ordinary masculinity in its paranoid, pitiful, irrational, and masochistic aspects, and then how these are all supported to pass for normal by existing systems, of law, media (the man needs a small coaching session to get the sympathy of the nation on the chat show, whereas the woman devotes over a year to her media strategy and must then smash her face in to go undercover) then we get a highly organised, logical, goal directed and passionate/romantic (‘I killed for you!!’) femininity, which drives the plot forward. She does what she has to do, and gets what she wants in the end. Plus, the whole thing could be seen like a self-aggrandising fantasy that passes through the mind of the husband, as he’s trying to imagaine what his wife could be thinking, and can only imagine that she is thinking/dreaming of him alone.

  10. Like a good piece of music, Gone Girl the movie demands repeated visits. There is a superabundance of detail in the film, making it like life.

    As with The Wolf Of Wall Street, the film’s visual appeal overshadows the ugly truth beneath the surface. Are we going to watch anyone but the breathtaking Rosamund Pike in such an awful role? Watching her shapeshifting throughout the narrative is at least half the fun.

    The point of the film is how superficial appearances dominate our desires, indeed making it seem good that Amy killed Desi; after all, he was really creepy, and not nearly as hunky as that Nick Dunne, or even Tanner Bolt.

    The surface shine hides the truth from everyone but ourselves. Appearance is reality.

    The other consideration is why are we watching this, and who are we watching the most? It is most certainly Amy and Nick, as each is gorgeous, but who else? Tanner is the only one close, followed by Desi’s chalet and Nick and Amy’s beautiful abode. The homeless, the drug addicts, the “idiot” mother next door, even Amy’s parents, dirty up the screen. The pair at the retreat with tattoos and cigarettes are ostensibly more evil than Amy – why don’t we follow them?

    Anyway, a great – looking movie, well acted and superbly directed and scored.

    Leave your troubles at the door – see Gone Girl!

  11. I agree I was excited to read and see the film after hearing how good and thrilling it was from multiple people. However, the crazy scheming bitch who plays the victim of sexual abuse has already been done so many times and so has the jerky man-child character. Both stereotypes just hurt women in the long run.

  12. The debate about feminism/misandry, etc. is missing the point. Gone Girl–the movie–is a depiction of Borderline Personality Disorder laced with outright psychopathy. This movie is not fantasy. It is a version of reality that thousands of us deal with every day in the form of spouses, parents, and others who are close to us. The details differ in each case, but the manipulation, the suicide threats, the psychotic rage, the lack of empathy, the lack of a stable identity, and the instability of relationships are always the same. It’s a nightmare.

    If you get mad because you’re insulted about how women are unfairly portrayed in the movie, or how police officers would never fall for such an act–you should wake up and start reading about Cluster B personality disorders. Start with Books and articles by Randi Krieger, William Eddy, Shari Shreiber, and Glen Gabbard. Also see videos by Dr. Frank Ochberg, Sam Vaknin, and SPARTANLIFECOACH on YouTube.

    People who complain about “female stereotypes” in reaction to Gone Girl are clueless. This is a real, widespread, yet nearly unknown societal problem that plagues Family Courts everywhere. And it’s not just women who behave this way. Psychopaths come in both genders.

  13. Noun: 1. sociopath – someone with a sociopathic personality; a person with an antisocial personality disorder (`psychopath’ was once widely used but has now been superseded by `sociopath’)

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