Gone Girl: Cool Girls and Yellow Trash

I learned I can get boys to do whatever I want

“She’s a criminal mastermind. She’s got 108 IQ, she reads at a 5th grade level, and…
(sighs) her hair smells like red Froot Loops.” ~Bart Simpson

Diana read and enjoyed the book Gone Girl, and we planned to watch the movie without recasting it for Flim Springfield, but when the credits started to roll, we couldn’t help ourselves. We were split on our opinion of the movie – Diana enjoys entertainment based around awful things happening, but Jay found Gone Girl a riveting yet unpleasant viewing experience. Nevertheless, this thing practically recast itself.

Jessica Lovejoy as Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) Smart, beautiful, and not very nice. Both Jessica and Amy put up an innocent front but go way above and beyond to get what they want from people.

Jessica Lovejoy as Amy Dunne
(Rosamund Pike)

Smart, beautiful, and not very nice. Both Jessica and Amy put up an innocent front but go way above and beyond to get what they want from people.

Petty thug

Bart Simpson as Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck)
Bart and Nick are pretty bad and not very bright, but their petty thuggery is overwhelmed by the manipulation and evil of their female partners.

If anyone wants me, I'll be in my room

Lisa as Margo ‘Go’ Dunne (Carrie Coon)
In a world full of fools and opportunists, Margo might be the only real sympathetic character. Like Lisa, she has a belief in her brother that’s proven right–at least mostly.

Soon I'll be queen of summertime!

Martin Prince as Desi Collings
(Neil Patrick Harris)

Born into wealth and privilege and probably (definitely) in the closet. I think that Martin’s grown-up life would undoubtedly look a lot like Desi Collings’.

Marge Simpsons as Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens)

Marge Simpson as Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens)
Marge shows off her street smarts and take-no-crap attitude in “The Springfield Connection.” Remember when she figures out Herman’s counterfeit jeans plot and foils his getaway? That was our inspiration to choose her for Boney.

SHAKES

Eddie as Officer Gilpin (Patrick Fugit)
These two could glare each other to a standstill. Gilpin’s squinty eyes flatly state “scum.” Eddie’s might supportively offer “Huh. ‘Shakes.’ You don’t know what you’re gettin’.”

dfsdf

Martin’s parents as Amy’s parents
(David Clennon and Lisa Banes)

Rich and kinda obnoxious.

Alex as Noelle Hawthorne (Casey Wilson)

Alex as Noelle Hawthorne (Casey Wilson)
This is the local idiot that Amy befriends. We don’t find out much about her, but she seems like a shallow upper-class suburban wife/mother. DMY, Alex, but that’s probably your future.

Cletus and Brandine as

Cletus and Brandine as Jeff and Greta (Boyd Holbrook and Lola Kirke)
The perfect people to play the white-trash hicks that befriend/rob Amy at that cabin complex she hides away at. They’ll take those bags of money from ya.

dabs sweaty forehead with $$$

Lucius Sweet as Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry)
Springfield has its share of showmen, but none are as audacious as Lucius Sweet. He might step in to aid a needy man… if there was a stack of cash in it for him too. We considered Lionel Hutz for this role, but Tanner Bolt is much more competent. (A Flim Springfield instance where the movie character may in fact be less awful than their Simpson counterpart.)

Erin as Andie Fitzgerald (Emily Ratajkowski)

Erin as Andie Fitzgerald
(Emily Ratajkowski)

Good natured, unformed, and craves validation. Erin probably doesn’t keep very good track of her underwear.

Milhouse as Tommy O'Hara

Milhouse as Tommy O’Hara
(Scoot McNairy)

Poor, luckless Milhouse/Tommy. He dates a beautiful woman with an ass like a 20-year-old stripper, only to end up having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life because he spurned her.

Looks like you were wrong when you called him a washed-up deviant, eh Lori?

Entertainment Anchor Harpy “Lori” as Ellen Abbott (Missi Pyle)
Lori is the newswoman who called Troy McClure a washed-up deviant.

Flip! Flip! Flip!

…and, Flipsy as the robot dog
Which we could not get a good screengrab of.

One thing The Simpsons hasn’t done much with, or maybe can’t do, is real cruelty. I’m not talking about the kind of banal meanness served up by Patty & Selma, Homer’s thoughtlessness, or Krusty’s ego, even as greedy as Mr. Burns is he’s shown slivers of humanity. No one in The Simpson Universe is a sociopath, let alone clever or focused enough to concoct an elaborate plan designed to destroy someone’s life.

Well, that’s not exactly true . . . In BLACK WIDOWER, his second appearance, Sideshow Bob did map out a pretty wicked scheme to hurt the Simpsons by murdering Selma. If everything had gone his way Bob would’ve walked away sated and free to wallow in his own crapulence*. He doesn’t get away, though, because The Simpsons exist in a universe ruled by God’s Law—the law of a five fingered God! The Simpsons is a moral universe where the bad are punished and the good … well, the good aren’t exactly rewarded, but they do at least skate by, avoiding the worst the world has to dish out.

Stark, abject, black as the pits of hell nasty just can’t survive in that environment. Over time, Sideshow Bob has mellowed, Mr. Burns is kept in check by Smithers, Selma has shown occasional sympathy for Homer. Homer, unfortunately, has only gotten worse, but continues to walk a fine line on the positive side thanks to his redeeming love for Marge.

One-off characters: Frank Grimes, Hank Scorpio, and Mindy have the best chance to exhibit real extremes of personality, be they good, evil, or both. The Simpsons writers are so adept at modulating characteristics that depending on how you look at the special guest antagonists a lot of those characters could be good or bad depending on your point of view. Jessica Lovejoy, though, is possibly the most irredeemable character they’ve ever created—outside of Poochie or Gil—someone you just hate and can’t wait for justice to be served to. Except in her case, like Amy Dunne in GONE GIRL, comeuppance never comes. It’s maddening and brilliant.

 

 

*Special note about the episode BLACK WIDOWER. This has bothered me for a long time. You know the plot of this episode: Bob’s first comeback appearance, he’s “reformed” but actually gaslighting Selma into marrying him. Selma and Bob go away on their honeymoon (where Bob has planned to murder his bride). Selma videotapes their arrival and even her invitation for Bob to (a-hem)… perform the wedding rites. Marge comments how sweet that is and there’s a jump cut to Bob scrubbing himself off post-coital. At the Simpson home, at some point after this (the same time?), Bart realizes Bob’s plan by watching that same videotape Selma made and sent to them. He rallies the family, the police, and saves his aunt.

Can it be explained how this tape arrives at the Simpson home in time for the family to watch it, and get to the hotel in time to save Selma? By the way these scenes are designed, it’s obvious that the plan is to kill Selma on the same night they arrive at the resort. It would be possible if this were happening over Skype, which sadly was still 10 years away from being invented. There’s no time for the tape to have been packaged and sent, let alone arrived.

This doesn’t take away from the mystery or fun of the episode to me, and if it was an intentional gaffe, it was still a really subtle and well done one. But I have been wondering for ages if Chasten, Simon, and Vitti knew what they were doing and were trying to sneak one by the audience.

Whew!, I’ve been wanting to get this into Simpson-Fandom consciousness for ages.
Thank you for reading.

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One Response to Gone Girl: Cool Girls and Yellow Trash

  1. Pingback: Reading Digest: Eating Like Homer Edition | Dead Homer Society

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