‘Gonzo Girl’ Review — Patricia Arquette’s Directorial Debut Is Unimpressive

Not everyone is charming, eloquent, or genius enough to be an icon. Yet, Willem Dafoe‘s Walker Reade (loosely inspired by the founder of gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson) has the right amount of rock star energy to make the cut. To be more specific, he is a washed-up, once-great author, who hasn’t written anything meaningful for the past 15 years but is still raved about for his earlier work. In this adaptation of Cheryl Della Pietra‘s semi-autobiographical novel directed by Patricia Arquette, Walker Reade isn’t the main character even though audiences can mistakenly think he is. The person who truly is front and center here is Camila Morrone‘s Ally Russo, a university grad who has just landed a job as Reade’s nighttime assistant, expected to convince the author to write at least a page or two by 2 a.m. daily. Gonzo Girl is filled with LSD, gunshots, and journaling, but nothing substantial enough to make it more than a fun, one-time viewing high.

​ Starring Willem Dafoe and Camila Morrone, Gonzo Girl’s Hunter S. Thompson-like depiction is entertaining, but not memorable.