The title says it all. Which leads me to believe that, that empty feeling you walk out of the theater with is exactly what they wanted you to feel.
I remember when I was about 10 and I asked someone who worked in “the biz”, what a Producer does. He said something along the lines of “a bit of everything.” I asked, what that meant. He couldn’t answer. At least he couldn’t come up with an answer that a 10-year-old would be satisfied with. I think this film is exactly that. It is a bit of everything, but doesn’t know exactly what it’s meant to do.
The film as a whole is clever, but everything in it is not. The first half of the film is quick enough that you’re entertained, but the second half appears to wash away into a sea of nothingness. I get that, that is their point. That they are giving you the ending that no one will give you. BUT if you’re going to do that you have to do something else to make it worthwhile. The dialogue and the dark humor should be top notch and it’s just not quite there.
The acting in it is amazing. Obviously this film had struck a cord with Hollywood actors because they managed to gather Robert De Niro, Stanely Tucci, Bruce Willis, John Turturro, Catherine Keener, Robin Wright Penn, Sean Penn and more. If they would have had anyone but the best, this film would have been atrocious. With this cast it would be a challenge to really fuck it up.
I don’t know how far this film will go as it seems like an inside joke with Hollywood. From Bruce Willis throw a huge tantrum because they want him to shave his beard, to the over emotional director, to the studios controlling everything that gets made. Although they over-dramatize the situations in many ways this film is very true to life and it’s very bleak. I have a thing about depressing movies, if the filmmakers are going to go there I want there to be some redemption at the end or some reason for the depression, I got neither from this film. The film seems very real as in, it’s the way life goes. But I know the way life goes. I have to live with “the way life goes” every single day. I need hope, change, or complete destruction to be okay with watching something so dismal.
It’s hard to watch a character that never seems to get anything right and never really changes. He even realizes he should change, he realizes his life is shit, and yet he does nothing. Robert De Niro’s character is so un-likable and without almost no redeeming qualities. You pity him. But you can only feel that way for so long seeing as he’s the one that has made his life that way and won’t do anything to change it. But perhaps that’s the point. Realizing that the people who stifle filmmakers creativity, the people who make the big bucks and live in the nice cars, the people who tell you what to do are really the most miserable of all.
I will say this. The film is interesting, it made me think, and it made for a great conversation after. I don’t think the film itself is that great, but I think the thoughts it provokes and the way it feelings it leaves one with are enough to make it worth a gander.
In theaters November 13th.
For more information check out whatjusthappenedfilm.com