• R, 1 hr. 54 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Spike Jonze
    In Theaters:
    Dec 6, 2002 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 20, 2003
  • Columbia Pictures

Critic Review - Reel Film Reviews

...trying way too hard to be unique.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comments (9)
Reel Film Reviews

Comments

Tom M.

Tom Mackean

What a poor reviewer! David has completely missed the point of the film. He criticises the film on the basis that Kaufman begins by saying he doesn't want a Hollywood style film with violence and and action and that is what it becomes.

I cannot be bothered to explain the film to you David as plenty of other reviewers seem to have understood it but I would recommend you stick to Pixar and Disney film reviews because anything which requires a little more brain activity is going to be more than you can understand.

Dec 18 - 08:45 AM

movie d.

movie de Wrecktor

I logged on to this site looking to see if other people saw what I saw, which is the fact that this movie tried "way too hard to be unique" and quirky. The movie was not particularly witty nor did it make much sense. It was a painful ride of incoherence until Streep's character all of a sudden turns into a wannabe murderer. But guess how the last of the twins (Cage) escapes death? An alligator conveniently shows up out of nowhere and saves him from getting shot. I mean, "...Really??" Let's face it, intelligent viewers: This movie was a "nice try" at best.

Feb 17 - 09:38 AM

Thomas

Thomas Hargett

That's the whole point of the film; you and this critic missed the whole point of the film.

Charlie Kaufman (Nicholas Cage's Kaufman) tries so hard to be original in his writing, to be so different from other cliche Hollywood writers, when he finds that real life is cliche itself.

You spent so much time trying to persuade everyone that you are smarter than this film, when the film obviously outsmarted you.

Feb 28 - 09:35 PM

Rich L.

Rich Long

Wow, I wish I liked this movie enough to want to attack honest reviewers who happened to dislike it but I have to agree with the Reel Film Reviews on this one. While there are some good things to be said about this film, it simply wasn't written or executed well enough for me to give thumbs up. Believe me, I love smart, challenging movies as much as anyone, but this movie just didn't do it for me.

Making a movie isn't like a chess match. You are not trying to outsmart anybody. That is not the point of the art.

And it bothers me a little bit how some users use this site to attack reviewers (professional or non-professional) for having a different view than they do. Probably some pimply 18-year-old virgins who don't have anything better to do than to get upset at someone's movie review. Try diverting your frustration elsewhere please...

Mar 14 - 04:15 PM

Michael G.

Michael Guglielmi-Wheeler

Come on! He's not trying to be complicated or too unique. If anything you could say that about being John Malkovich. This movie basically is just a brutally honest look into Charlie Kaufman's Life. The most Close to home I've ever felt with a writer before. Just leaves himself on the chopping block. Touched home on alot. Maybe I would get how the captain of the football team or the guy on wallstreet might not get this, but how can a movie reveiwer not? This movie is one I can relate to more then any other, and even if you couldn't you should understand that it has its place in the movie canon. I'm not a big fan of Dr. Strangelove or Seven Samurai, but I understand that they have a huge impact on other peoples lives, and thus i respect them. Do the same. Also **** you Gayvid Douchair

Oct 19 - 03:41 PM

Joshua N.

Joshua Nel

That was supposed to be ironic you twit. Robert, who wrote the 10 commandments of scriptwriting, told kaufman, "Find an ending, but don't cheat, and don't you dare bring in a deus ex machina." If you weren't busy being an idiot, you'd notice the (fucking unique genius) writing in this film. and you'd know what a deus ex machina means.

Aug 28 - 06:21 AM

Rodney S.

Rodney Sibert

Yes!!! That is what SO MANY people (even credible critics) miss. He pokes fun at McKee for telling people that pay big bucks to go to his seminars that there is a specific set-in-stone way to write a screenplay. In the final third of his film he says, "Here 'Hollywood' this is what you want from me (drugs and shooting) and look how much it sucks compared to the rest of the film." It takes guts to sabotage your own film and true genius to do it in a way that means something.

May 4 - 06:01 AM

lakin a.

lakin anderson

Here is part of a review from the New York Times which may help shed some light on the film:

" ....the screenplay for ''Adaptation,'' which indeed is billed as based on ''The Orchid Thief,'' the true story of a renegade horticulturalist, John Laroche. The encounters between Mr. Laroche and Ms. Orlean frame the book's excursions into Darwinian theory, Florida ecology and the history of orchid collecting. Many of these elements, by the way, are faithfully reconstructed in the movie. Mr. Kaufman's flailing attempts to honor the nuances and implications of Ms. Orlean's dense, elusive, intellectual mystery story are interwoven with a retelling of that story, until finally the two plots collide, overlap and blow each other to smithereens (along with the viewer's mind).

But all of this is much too straightforward. Yes, ''Adaptation'' is, most obviously, a movie about itself, as gleefully self-referential an exercise in auto-deconstruction as you could wish. But it is also, more deeply, a movie about its own nonexistence -- a narrative that confronts both the impossibility and the desperate necessity of storytelling, and that short-circuits our expectations of coherence, plausibility and fidelity to lived reality even as it satisfies them. Common sense suggests that there could never be such a movie, but if there could, it would have to be one of the slipperiest, most fascinating and, by any sane reckoning, best movies of the year. "

Aug 6 - 04:09 AM

lakin a.

lakin anderson

Here is part of a review from the New York Times which may help shed some light on the film:

" ....the screenplay for ''Adaptation,'' which indeed is billed as based on ''The Orchid Thief,'' the true story of a renegade horticulturalist, John Laroche. The encounters between Mr. Laroche and Ms. Orlean frame the book's excursions into Darwinian theory, Florida ecology and the history of orchid collecting. Many of these elements, by the way, are faithfully reconstructed in the movie. Mr. Kaufman's flailing attempts to honor the nuances and implications of Ms. Orlean's dense, elusive, intellectual mystery story are interwoven with a retelling of that story, until finally the two plots collide, overlap and blow each other to smithereens (along with the viewer's mind).

But all of this is much too straightforward. Yes, ''Adaptation'' is, most obviously, a movie about itself, as gleefully self-referential an exercise in auto-deconstruction as you could wish. But it is also, more deeply, a movie about its own nonexistence -- a narrative that confronts both the impossibility and the desperate necessity of storytelling, and that short-circuits our expectations of coherence, plausibility and fidelity to lived reality even as it satisfies them. Common sense suggests that there could never be such a movie, but if there could, it would have to be one of the slipperiest, most fascinating and, by any sane reckoning, best movies of the year... "

Some of us got the film, others didn't. Too bad.

Aug 6 - 04:31 AM

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