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All Good Things

Posted on 27 January 2011 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

The phrase “All Good Things must come to an end” has been in the air as two more media outlets close along Federal Highway. “The Bookshop” in Ft. Lauderdale will be closing their doors soon as they discount their books by 50 percent. Now, the movie theatre in Mizner Park has closed its doors, which might have an impact on the Downtown Boca Film Festival in April.

It is with a sense of irony that the movie All Good Things is based on a true story (Names were changed for legal reasons) and the lead character, David Marks (Ryan Gosling) is currently a real estate investor in Florida. All Good Things is a dark film, but one appropriate for this time.

David Marks is an errand boy for his powerful father, Sandford Marks (Frank Langella), a Manhattan Land Baron who owns the buildings of the seedy porn district before Rudy Giuliani became Mayor. As with most spoiled children of Manhattan elite, David spends his free time partying with his girlfriend, Katie (Kirsten Dunst), who indulges in cocaine.

During a minor act of rebellion towards his father, David marries Katie and manages a health food store, called “All Good Things,” in Vermont. Despite living in Eden, Sanford convinces his son to return to Manhattan and embrace his divine right. David willingly accepts.

From this point forward, David’s soul decays. He becomes abusive toward Katie. She disappears and David relocates to Texas and begins wearing women’s clothing. David befriends Malvern (Philip Baker Hall), a delusional man with dreams of grandeur.

Poor make-up dooms Ryan Gosling’s performance and this flaw proves distracting. While Langella and Philip Baker Hall provide solid support, Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig provides the only comic relief to this creepy tale.

In the years to come, All Good Things will be remembered as Kirsten Dunst’s first major performance. Shedding her “Mary Jane Watson” image from Spider-Man movies, Dunst ages quickly before our eyes as a spiritually beaten woman. Dunst is haunting long after the movie is over.

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