If you like movie versions of great books, you know something long-awaited for happened over the weekend: the movie version of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl premiered.
Of course, if you also watch TV on a semi-regular basis, you would know from that as well. They were playing those previews NON STOP. On top of that, I wanted to post this last weekend, but work and grading (so much grading) had to come first during the week, so it took me about 4 days to actually finish this post.
I read the book a year ago and loved it. I was absolutely blown away by Flynn’s ability to write a character like Amy and, like most people, loved the suspenseful nature of the book that didn’t feel so mystery-aisle-ish. Her characters were complex and struggled with an interesting mix of personal problems.
Once I finished reading the book, Rahul added something special to my Mom’s copy: an “autograph” from Gillian Flynn telling me to “gon’ girl.” Thus the title of this blog post.
However, this post isn’t a book review. Also, I’ll say NOW that I HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE SO NO SPOILERS PLEASE. Rahul found out some very exciting news last week and, long story short, will be arriving soon to spend 12 weeks in the DC area. So I’m waiting until his arrival to see the movie.
This post is about the location much of the movie was shot. You see, another thing I really loved about the book was its setting: a small town in Missouri. If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, then you know I used to live in a small town in Missouri, Cape Girardeau. This little riverfront town is not only the setting of my MFA thesis, but also the setting for the movie version of Gone Girl.
While the movie was filming there last year, I suffered through countless photos on Facebook of friends spotting Ben Affleck or Tyler Perry; photos of Nick Dunne’s bar that they built on the very same street I usually frequented on Friday and Saturday nights; essentially photos of everything Gone Girl. While this made me extremely jealous, of course, I’m able to look past this. Even though the Cape Girardeau that will appear in Fincher’s movie will undoubtly look and feel different from the one I know, I’m so beyond excited to see this favorite town of mine appear on the big screen that I can hardly stand it.
Jackson is my home, but Cape Girardeau is the first place I lived on my own. I earned a degree there and taught for the first time, but the town was so much more than that to me. I made amazing friends, learned to appreciate and love the beauty of the Mississippi river, bike rode for miles and miles in the countryside, and, as cheesy as this sounds, became an adult.
Even though I love living near D.C., and love having all the amenities of a major city, there’s still something about the countryside that makes me feel light inside. When my friend Jessica and I would go on bike rides in the country, that’s all it was, for miles and miles: endless Missouri countryside, with blue skies everywhere. On top of that, the Mississippi River is a thing of beauty, and one you really can’t appreciate until it becomes a part of you, because you are a part of it. The town was small in a wonderful way; small enough that my friends and I could visit the same bar every Thursday and see the same people; small enough that you made friends with people just by being in the same place; small enough that those friends became your lifeline. If you haven’t caught on by now, the best part about living in Cape Girardeau were the people I met, whether it be through my teaching program, my Masters, my time working at Outback Steakhouse, or our weekly visits to Celebrations, our “drinking spot”: the people were the greatest, and I miss that part about Cape Girardeau often.
Beyond that, it’s a beautiful river town that David Fincher turned into the run-down North Carthage. I’m excited to see it on the big screen.