These days the way you mock conventional boring women is to call them a “basic bitch”. Basic bitches do the things everybody does, wear the clothes everybody does, and so on (they used to be called soccer moms, or stepford wives – it’s a mean old joke that’s forever being rebranded). One thing a basic bitch does is read the bestselling books, like The Goldfinch, or Gone Girl. How fitting, then, that the movie Gone Girl is itself a Basic Bitch of a movie. It barely makes an effort, like a football team that thinks it can just show up on Sunday and win the big game. It has the basic necessities. Bestselling book, check. Big time director, check. Hollywood star, check. Big budget, check. Stupid preposterous story, check. For a suspense story, it had almost zero suspense. The subway cat scene in Inside Llewyn Davis was more suspenseful than anything in this one. It went through the motions, like the actors did. Who even made an effort here? They couldn’t even keep the main actress’s hair sensible from one scene to the next. Supposedly set in Missouri, not a single character bothered to even fake a midwestern accent. There were almost no cinematic touches of consequence besides an occasional St Louis arch or New York City brownstone. And maybe that was all part of the point, which is, what a fucking joke we all are, we moviegoers and book readers. We’ll buy any old shit they feel like selling us. They don’t even have to try. Nothing makes any sense? Who cares. Nobody tries to act? Whatever. Nothing to look at on the screen? Hey, that’s America these days, ugly, boring and all the same. Whatever. It seemed to me that everyone involved was resting on their laurels, and their laurels are kind of shabby to begin with. I’ve seen a number of the director’s films, and been impressed with just one (Fight Club) and that one ended with a sneering dismissal of its audience as well, a great big Fuck You of an ending (See? it was all a dream. See, he’s just fucking crazy) as if just saying “oh that person is crazy” is all you need to do, it’s so simple and uncomplicated and actually explains nothing. Just crazy, move along, nothing to see. Homeless people? Just crazy. Unhappy wives? Just crazy. Psycho killers? Crazy, of course. That’s all you have to say, all you have to know. She was crazy. That other guy? He was crazy. Not crazy? Then stupid or mean or both mean and stupid. Pretty much sums it up. They see us as their own basic bitches, and they’re probably right. We will buy anything. The new movie out this week? We all line up. Next week we’ll do the same. Fuck if we care. It could be Ouija. It could be Liam Neeson once again out for revenge. It could be Gone Girl. Whatever. Everybody’s doing it. We’ll do it too. It kept occurring to me that the movie lacked “integriy” – maybe the book did too but I can’t speak to that – and what I mean is that there was nothing that felt “true”. People behaved the way they did simply because they were “crazy” or “an asshole” or “stupid” or “gullible”. Everyone was strictly a type that did what that type does. No one was actually a real peerson, with any of the depth that entails. No one is merely a puppet that behaves according to some simple rules. The Punch and Judy dolls were exemplative of this lack of any core. The director and the author were pulling strings, for effect, to shock/entertain/whatever. As Lisa Thatcher said recently in a review of a Fincher film, it’s as if cinema itself has nothing to say. Certainly the people who made this movie had nothing to say. It’s just a show, a spectacle, superficial nothingness. Your basic bitch of a movie.