Rating 3/5

The title of the movie comes from the name of a health food store that plays a small part within the film’s narrative. It seems to take actual events and puts them into this mysterious crime story written by Marcus Hinchey and Marc Smerling and is directed by Andrew Jarecki. It moves along at a slow pace through most of its 101-minute runtime but picks up more in the final act.

The story revolves around David Marks (Ryan Gosling) who marries free-spirited Katie (Kirsten Dunst). They live a happy life in Vermont where they open the health foods store. All is well until David’s father, Sanford (Frank Langella), who owned valuable real estate property that included strip clubs, massage parlors, and so on, wants David to join the family business. After a while, David returns to New York to join his father, while Katie lives a quiet, unhappy existence. A little time passes and David begins to change from the person Katie fell in love with and married. The marriage begins to fall apart. Katie disappears. She is never found again.

The narrative begins in the seventies and goes through Katie’s disappearance in 1982 to the early 2000’s. Gosling does well here in the role of David, which is pivotal to the story. He plays the character with a low-key performance as needed at the beginning. So as we go through the story we can see his character’s transformation unfold through the years.

Katie struggles to see who David is and his dramatic transformation. Kirsten Dunst plays her as a loving, kind woman and changes to a quiet desperation as she attempts to understand her husband’s transformation until her disappearance.

It is through two separate murder investigations of Malvern Bump (Philip Baker Hall) and Janice Rizzo (Diane Venora) that David’s life is revealed. Looking into his life, through his relationship with his wife and her vanishing to his relationships with Bump and Rizzo, David is suspected of being involved with his wife’s disappearance and with the two murders, but is never charged.

While the film had a somewhat compelling story and varying characters, the ending seemed, to some extent, a bit confusing. I was unclear to the outcome of what actually happened to Katie and it left me unsatisfied on some level. Of course, maybe that was the film’s intent. At any rate, the story and characters held me enough to be entertaining and enjoyable.

 

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