Went with a girlfriend to see Gone Girl. I’d read and loved the Gillian Flynn novel and happily noticed that the author also wrote the film’s screenplay, so I knew the whole “book is better than the movie” trope wouldn’t be much of an issue. I vowed not to lean over and whisper wait till you see this to my friend because that’s annoying and besides, I usually have book/movie amnesia and can’t remember what happens next anyway.
Here’s my one-paragraph spoiler-free movie review: I liked this movie. If you liked Gone Girl the novel, you’ll like Gone Girl the movie and if you didn’t read the book, you’ll probably still like the movie. If you don’t like the ending to either at first, you should think about it some more—you might come to the conclusion as I did that the ending is really pretty brave and cool. Rosamund Pike is great as Amy but her eyebrows distracted me. Boom. Review over.
So we’re sitting there and I’m happy to be at a grown-up movie with a grown-up because I usually have to take my kids to the movies. So we eat popcorn and Gone Girl gets close to the end, and I notice that they showed Neil Patrick Harris’ dick, from the front in an almost-sexy (his ass!) but then completely not at all sexy scene. Wow. Did that just happen? I think to myself. I can’t remember the last time I saw dick in a flick, Ben Stiller in There’s Something About Mary notwithstanding, given that apparently I don’t go to the movies where that’s happening.
But I didn’t have much time to think about the frequency of male full frontal nudity in other films because all of the sudden Ben Affleck is getting naked and he’s going to get in the shower and holy shit they just showed his penis from the front. And he’s about to play Batman! Little kids are going to have you on cakes at birthday parties and you just exposed yourself to the world!
I had to come home and Google whether or not I had imagined the two dick shots. I check Google images first, figuring if it had happened, the still photo of it would be all over the Internet by now. Nothing. Then in the web results I find Neil Patrick Harris: Yes, That’s My Penis in ‘Gone Girl’ and I find Jennifer Garner: Ben Affleck's Penis Needed a "Wide Lens" for Gone Girl Full Frontal Nude Scene and that she said “you’re welcome” to America. So I didn’t imagine it after all. Good for me. Hell, Affleck even addressed his own manhood in a Daily Beast article:
“I try to get it in every movie,” the actor joked to MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, before doubling-down. “The penis is in there! It’s IMAX penis! You’ve gotta pay 15 bucks to see it in 3D… it’s better in 3D.” Later, he joked how “cold” it was on the set.
He isn’t going to “get it in” Batman, is he? Because really. While an adult version would be enjoyable for moms (better in 3D…), big family blockbusters generally lack male genitalia; even Bat-cock.
In the hilarious article “How to See Ben Affleck’s Penis in Gone Girl” Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan explores the ways in which to prepare oneself as a moviegoer to catch the action. I take exception to his observation that “all the male journalists saw Affleck’s dick and the female journalists didn’t” because, hand in the air, yours truly, a journalist with a vagina, did see it. (And I’m not the only one who notices these movie parts.)
Could penises in movies be a new Hollywood trend, just in time for the Magic Mike sequel to come out next year? Girls’ Night Outs across the land can only hope so.
—Follow Mary McCarthy on Twitter @marymac.