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Adaptation

I watched Adaptation last night with Dave (store Dave, not young Dave). It was, shall I say, very interesting. I'm a big fan of those "movie in a movie in a movie" type of movies. Perhaps the IMDB description says it best:

Charlie Kaufman writes the way he lives… With Great Difficulty. His Twin Brother Donald Lives the way he writes… with foolish abandon. Susan writes about life… But can't live it. John's life is a book… Waiting to be adapted. One story… Four Lives… A million ways it can end.

Not much really happened. The things at the end (I'm not trying to spoil it) were interesting and unexpected, and yet, I'm not sure what other way things could end. To find out that the author of the book and screenplay really were named Susan Orlean and Charlie Kaufman was certainly interesting.

4 Responses to "Adaptation"

  1. I liked Adaptation a lot, but I agree with you that the third act was a bit weak. It's almost like he couldn't figure out how to end it, so he invented this whole bizarre "action" scenario.

    Other than that, though, I thought it was pretty cool.

  2. That's what makes the movie so good. The fact that he doesn't know how to end the movie and invents a brother who in turn invents this ridiculous ending. It's perfect.

  3. Do you recall a reference to Fellini inventing the mocumentary? kudos to kaufman for showing respect.

    The end was a bit irritating... there I was enjoying (buying into) a mainstream movie while mentally revisiting Kaufman's earlier (shameless yet appropriate) attempt to criticize mainstream screenplay writing. Half-way through, the audience is invited to laugh with Kaufman at pedestrian ideals. The next scene, Kaufman steps out to point and exclaim, 'hA! this audience might be enlightened, but watch as they succumb to stereotypes'. He was pointing at me: blushing at the cusp of two constructed realities.

    Overall, the story was scintillating, acting superb, and I'm certain worth viewing a second time.

  4. I think the 'weak' ending is an interesting statement on Kaufman's part.. At the beginning, he is talking about the movie, and he says something to the effect of, "I don't want them to fall in love, I don't want them to learn lessons, or grow, and I don't want to make it about drugs, and car chases and guns." And then at the end, each of those things happens, in the exact same sequence he mentions them in the beginning. And it all starts after he sees that screen writing seminar guy.

    I think the end of the movie is about how Charlie failed, but that its ok. He wanted to make a movie about flowers, but he couldn't do it, so he tried to make a cutting edge movie that includes himself writing the movie, but he couldn't do that, so he threw in a fake brother, love, lessons, guns, drugs and a car chase, because he couldn't think of anything else, but because he seems satisfied with that, its all OK. Its like Charlie just threw up his hands and said, "Fine, here's your movie!" And his willingness to do that, rather than fight out something he didn't understand, that no one really understands, which would have just produced a bad movie.

    There is something about Charlie's writing that really interests me.. He has a very keen sense of irony, not blatant irony, but subtle persuasive irony. If you liked Adaptation, you might also like Human Nature, which was also written by Charlie Kaufman, it wasn't directed by Spike Jonz, but Spike did have something to do with the film, production maybe? Anyway, its a great movie too, very interesting, and a little sad in its own way.


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