RYAN GOSLING KIRSTEN DUNST FRANK LANGELLA KRISTEN WIIG
ALL GOOD THINGS
The title of the film is certainly a big contradiction; All Good Things is based on the happenings of a real couple and a tragic news story that spans over decades. While poorly released and barely seen at the box office, this is Oscar nominated Gosling’s most commercial film in a while. This is also the first film Dunst has done since exiting rehab. She was quoted as saying she felt the same reading this script as Jodie Foster did reading The Accused. First time feature film director Andrew Jarecki certainly doesn’t make this film inviting or interesting; the script is a retelling and they circle events and never seem to get to a point until the end, when we are bored and ready for it to be over regardless of the conclusion.
David Marks (Gosling) met Katie (Dunst) by chance when he tried to help fix her leaking sink. Having lived outside his father's shadow of big dominating business and secret deals that made their family very rich, Marks chooses a simpler life. His wife Katie realized afterward that she wanted more than just a tiny shack and a small shop him. Marks reluctantly began working for his father after that. David and Katie began their wealthy life, one perk after another, but when the idea of children came up David turned into a different person, forcing Katie to have an abortion. “I have never been closer to anyone, but I don’t know you at all”, she says, and it's one of the many times she feared for her life. David’s tragic childhood now becomes a force he cannot contain and everyone around him is in danger.
Inexperienced hands are likely this movie's biggest downfall because this is certainly a story worth telling and it has it's compelling moments. There is a scene where David cannot resist the urge to force his wife into the car so they can go home, and I found myself hoping he did something awful just so the script would get exciting. Jarecki seems to want to document instead of explore the story here, which leaves everything up to the actors to keep us hooked. Gosling is one of those actors who can play any type of role, especially disturbing ones; I think he might be the next Daniel Day Lewis.
The use of Galveston, TX in the film was a big surprise, even though Bridgeport, Connecticut was where everything was filmed. Dunst certainly doesn’t make the film any better, even though she says this is her best performance. But that isn’t saying much. The section of the film where David begins dressing as a woman goes largely unexplained and as I am sure everyone else will, after the film ended I was left with many questions. All Good Things and the story it’s telling is very much something you might expect to see on the Lifetime channel; it’s the actors who try to make it rise above that level, but it never really finds it's stride.
Final Thought – If you are a Gosling fan you will enjoy this, otherwise it leaves a lot to be desired.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody