What Just Happened? - Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line
Living the life of a Hollywood movie producer isn't very glamorous you know. Day in, day out, I've got to drive around town and try my best to sort out any problems that'll come my way.
For instance, after we finished shooting my most recent Sean Penn movie (yep, it's him), Sean likes it, I like it, and even the director likes it too, Jeremy Brunell (Michael Mincott). However, because of some moderate pre-screening feedback, the studio executive, Lou Tarnow (Catherine Keener) doesn't like it. And she asks me to change it's ending, or else she'll pull the plug on the whole God damn production.
Oh! And if you think that's bad, worst still, I suspect my cheating bitch of a wife, Kelly (Robin Wright Penn), is sleeping with the screenwriter, Scott Solomon (Stanley Tucci). Plus to make my life that much harder, that stupid idiot actor, Bruce Willis (yep, it's him too), refuses to shave off his buoyant beard for his very next flick, despite me getting his agent involved, Dick Bell (John Turturro).
Boy! What a nutty world I live in, huh? Me. Ben (Robert De Niro). The down trodden Hollywood movie producer who really needs to step up his game. But then again, that's most probably why what next transpires goes nowhere fast, when three problems kick me right in the face once again. As a funeral turns into a fight – a studio doesn't know what's right - the Cannes Film Festival calls it a night - and at the end of the day, what's not to like?
Now I'm afraid to say 'What Just Happened?' is one of those films I'm not too sure about really. On the one hand it has a good cast, a good story-line, plus a message that's rather intriguing in today’s movie-driven age. Whilst on the other hand it's also a film that's rather clunky in the telling, thus making it seem like a somewhat bi-polar affair to watch.
Robert De Niro starred in the crime-drama, 'Righteous Kill'; Sean Penn starred in the bio-pic, 'Milk'; and Bruce Willis starred on 'The Late Show With David Letterman'.
Overall I'd say 'What Just Happened?' was like a mixture of 'Wag the Dog' and 'Man of the Year', except it was more mumbled in tone. Not that this is a bad-bad thing of course. Thankfully the actors and the concept behind this flick saved it from being too elusive. And for me -- personally -- that's it's main saving grace.
THE RATING: B