Monday, May 9, 2011

All Good Things

Directed (and written) by Andrew Jarceki, Groundswell Production, 2010. Starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Question: When you have a treasure trove of talented actors mixed in with a compelling real-life mystery, you possess the right ingredients to make a good movie, right? So what happened with All Good Things and how did they miss telling a good story? Honestly, it is a bigger mystery to me than the real story.

Again, I found this movie on my Netflix streaming list and was curious when I saw the list of actors. I like Ryan Gosling and most of the roles he selects, but I don't recall hearing anything about this movie when it was out last year. I really think Ryan Gosling is one of the finest young actors we have today; Frank Langella has proved his tremendous talent longer than I have been a live; Kirsten Dunst has charmed us since her portrayal of Claudia in Interview with a Vampire in 1994. So with this trifecta of talent -- and they were all very good in this film -- why did the movie not work? To be honest, I just don’t know.

All Good Things is a story inspired by true events -- a mystery surrounding a New York real estate family and the unsolved deaths that surround them between the 1970's through the early 2000's.

Ryan Gosling plays David Marks, the son of Sanford Marks - the real estate tycoon, who simply does not want to follow in his father's oppressive footsteps. He meets and falls in love with Katie, played by Dunst, and they begin a life together very removed from his father's. They open a health food store -- called All Good Things. So what is wrong with that story? Nothing. It starts out fine but then decisions are made, minds changed and the story takes us on a path that is undecipherable. So disappointing.

As I said, everyone acted well, very well. However, the director didn't seem to get us to a point where we, the audience, could feel the ride up the big moment where everything is revealed or explained. You are left with more questions than when you started the film. And by the end, you just don't care. 

My favorite part: Ryan Gosling - he did nothing wrong.

My least favorite part: The overall storytelling.

Did the previews show too much? - I never saw any.

Rating: R
Length: 101

Random thought: Did you know that Ryan Gosling was part of the Mickey Mouse Club along with Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Brittany Spears? He still sings and performs with his band: Dead Man's Bones. Here is clip to check out. 

Review: 3 out of 10



HeatherB said...

I watched this on Netflix last night.

Since it was a true story, I wonder if his family didn't sue for libel or slander. It seemed that the writers led us down a slippery slope without ever actually saying who did it - just making the implications of their own thoughts.

It was okay - like you, I just didn't really care by the end. The writers didn't leave it up to us to make up our own minds - in fact, they let us know their thoughts quite clearly.

I watched another movie after this one called The New Daughter (again on Netflix). I normally do not get scared by movies - but, OMG, my heart was pounding out of my chest, I was screaming at the TV and did not sleep at all last night because of it. For a Kevin Costner film - it was really good (if you like scary).

Tired of Previews said...

Heather - yes, I think there is a lawsuit regarding the film. Names were changed but it is very easy to look up who the real people are.

Scary movies do the same thing for me. I avoid them most of the time.

Bill Friday said...

I think this points to the recent phenomenon I call W/DS (Writer/Director Syndrome), in which an as yet unproven "genius" with a pitch, a reputation, and a decent first ten pages is handed the keys to the shiny studio vehicle. Usually the kid, now terrified of the possible consequences of being behind the wheel for the first time, just drives a safe, pedestrian speed around the lot for a few minutes, then puts the car, the keys (and the audience) right back where he found them two hours earlier.

Seriously, where the hell is the next Tarantino anyway?

Tired of Previews said...

Oh - good description. I have noticed that on many of the ones I reviewed where I didn't care for it - or where they were close but fell short. Many writer/director combos.

I just want to meet a director who can take my stories and convert them into magic - no need for me to attempt directing. That's laughable.

I did look him up - he worked on a lot of documentaries. I kind of see that in this film

Thanks for commenting.