Two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer who's having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.Two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer who's having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.Two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer who's having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.
Based on producer Art Linson's book, "What Just Happened? Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line", the film version tells the story of a successful Hollywood producer, Ben, played by Robert Deniro, as he juggles his personal and professional crises. This film has an impressive cast including Robin Wright Penn as Ben's second wife, Kelly; John Turturro as Dick, the stereotypical shifty agent; Stanley Tucci as Scott, the blocked screenplay writer; Michael Wincott as Jeremy, the temperamental director; Catherine Keener, as Lou, the hardcore studio exec; Bruce Willis as the demanding movie star; and Sean Penn as himself.
This mildly funny expose of modern-day Hollywood, was entertaining, but a little disappointing. The message is supposed to shock and outrage the viewer about how the film industry ruins art by turning it into pure commerce. But there have been plenty of Hollywood satires like "The Player" that have done this genre better. Although the source of the material is authentic and despite an outstanding cast (who all give great performances), "What Just Happened?" ultimately has nothing new to say besides the fact that Hollywood is a devious place to work. As a gimmicky farce, it works, but as a satire it was a limp and familiar insider's movie that lacked sharp irony, humor and novel characters.
This film won't appeal to everyone, but it does have some good one liners and funny moments. However, the combination of these actors working together in a comedy may be worth the cost of admission alone.
- Apr 4, 2008