5.7/10
23,411
109 user 135 critic

What Just Happened (2008)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
Two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer who's having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.

Director:

Writers:

, (book)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Wag the Dog (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a presidential sex scandal.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A series of overlapping stories about four suburban families dealing with different maladies. Esther Gold's life is consumed by caring for her comatose son; Jim Train is sent into a ... See full summary »

Director: Rose Troche
Stars: Glenn Close, Dermot Mulroney, Mary Kay Place
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widower who realized his only connection to his family was through his wife sets off on an impromptu road trip to reunite with each of his grown children.

Director: Kirk Jones
Stars: Robert De Niro, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two veteran New York City detectives work on a case of serial executions of criminals who escaped justice.

Director: Jon Avnet
Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Carla Gugino
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two families are brought together by the return of one family's son -- a reunion that conjures up old ghosts and issues that must be addressed.

Director: Mary Stuart Masterson
Stars: Elizabeth Ashley, Jayce Bartok, Bruce Dern
Analyze This (1999)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A comedy about a psychiatrist whose number one-patient is an insecure mob boss.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow
Stone (2010)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A convicted arsonist looks to manipulate a parole officer into a plan to secure his parole by placing his beautiful wife in the lawman's path.

Director: John Curran
Stars: Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich, Robert De Niro
Analyze That (2002)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Mobster Paul Vitti is released into Dr. Ben Sobol's care, where only more chaos ensues.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow
Flawless (1999)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ultraconservative police officer suffers a debilitating stroke and is assigned to a rehabilitative program that includes singing lessons - with the drag queen next door.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Miller
15 Minutes (2001)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A homicide detective and a fire marshall must stop a pair of murderers who commit videotaped crimes to become media darlings.

Director: John Herzfeld
Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer
Being Flynn (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Working in a Boston homeless shelter, Nick Flynn re-encounters his father, a con man and self-proclaimed poet. Sensing trouble in his own life, Nick wrestles with the notion of reaching out yet again to his dad.

Director: Paul Weitz
Stars: Paul Dano, Robert De Niro, Julianne Moore
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The tumultuous early history of the Central Intelligence Agency is viewed through the prism of one man's life.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ben
...
...
...
Actor
...
...
Kelly (as Robin Wright Penn)
...
...
Zoe
...
...
Pollster (as Jason Kravitz)
...
Remy K. Selma ...
Jimmy (as Remy Selma)
...
Studio Marketing Guy
...
...
Edit

Storyline

A week in the life of Ben, a powerful Hollywood producer, as he juggles negotiations with a studio head so that his newest picture can open at Cannes in two weeks, with a high-strung director who must make edits to the film, with an actor and his agent because the star has arrived on the set of a new picture with a full beard, and with his most recent ex-wife, Kelly, whom he discovers may have a lover. He also notices that his 17-year old daughter, from another marriage, has probably been crying. What's up? Can Ben keep it all together, get the green light from the studio to go to Cannes, move his new picture past the beard crisis, and maybe return to Kelly's good graces? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hollywood | cannes | beard | agent | actor | See All (119) »

Taglines:

Qui a dit que le cinéma était une grande famille? (Who said the movies were one big family?) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violent images, sexual content and some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

31 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Just Happened?  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$192,508 (USA) (17 October 2008)

Gross:

$1,089,365 (USA) (12 December 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The reunion between director Barry Levinson and star Robert De Niro eleven years after Wag the Dog (1997) (which also featured a Hollywood producer as a major character) and twelve years after Sleepers (1996). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben: Vanity Fair named me as one of the 30 most powerful producers in the business. Power is an elusive term, but in Hollywood it's everything, I don't care what they say, you either have it, want it, or you're afraid of losing it. Where you stand at these things, or who you may be standing next to, may not seem like the most important thing, but it *really* matters.
See more »

Connections

References Amores Perros (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Flow of Experience
Written & Performed by Steve Kornicki
Courtesy of MS-Pro
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
on the contrary to the other commenter, this is very funny, and a slight comeback for Levinson
14 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Director Barry Levinson hasn't had much luck lately- after Bandits, which was a good though not anything very noteworthy comedy caper, he had two colossal duds in a row- Envy and Man of the Year- which, despite an otherwise impressive host of films (i.e. Diner, Rainman, Sleepers, even Toys) could have threatened to throw him off track ala Rob Reiner. But in a way What Just Happened was relatable for Levinson, despite it being the stories of Art Linson, semi-famous producer who's had hits and misses throughout his career, and at the same time gave him some ample material for some sardonic, spot-on satire of the industry. It's not the Player, don't get me wrong, but it gives its winks and nods to the egomania, the preciousness of directors and stars, and how personal lives get caught up in the mix without getting too smug with us common moviegoers.

Probably the funniest, as sort of a near running gag, is the latest film that producer Ben (De Niro) is being test-screened for audiences; a rough cut of "Fiercly" starring Sean Penn (who, as with Bruce Willis, plays "Himself" in the film) disturbs the audience because, on top of a bleak end for its hero, a dog is killed on screen (this, for all the wrong reasons, is hysterical funny, if only for the deadpan reaction from DeNiro to the insanely negative response cards). The director, however, a British hipster (brilliantly played by Michael Wincott), doesn't take it lightly that he doesn't have final cut. This brings around what seems like a moment of levity midway... and then back to the start when it comes time for Cannes. On top of this is Willis's 'plot-line' involving a beard he won't shave off. It's almost like a slight reprisal of his part in Four Rooms, only put to a much bigger, aggrandizing maximum. Both of these, much like seeing certain characters in a Christopher Guest movie, elicit laughs anytime they're on screen.

And the rest of the movie is... still very good. Aside from some scenes where Levinson decides to rush things along via the speedy transitions, he provides a style that suits the feel of the material, of Ben trying to balance his personal struggles (an ex-wife he can't totally let go of, and his rebellious teen daughter with a secret) with the eternal BS of getting work done in an industry concerned, a lot more often than not, with the final dollar over artistic integrity. It's not quite reality TV, but it has that unpredictable, on-the-fly hand-held feeling all the same, which is a method much more effective used here than in Man of the Year. And De Niro is also surprisingly good (maybe not a surprise to some, but considering some of his hit-or-miss turns in recent fare), as he doesn't lay too low-key in the part. One can probably see De Niro having studied producers- not just Linson himself but others- for long stretches to get the right steps for each deliberate step in ego-maniacal Hollywood.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy some near classic self-conscious satire on an industry that deserves anything those in it can dish back out (if that makes sense).


89 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
killing the dog tallen02804
This Movie SUCKED cloutier_rob
Most boring, pointless piece of crap... Shazam-O
Poster of the dinosaur $810 000 000? brotto21
Michael Wincott as Jeremy Brunell! nadia17593
this movie has no point.. mrytter82
Discuss What Just Happened (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?