Tuesday, May 24, 2016

942. Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich
Directed by Spike Jonze

I know I was supposed to fall in love with this film's originality and absurdity, but I was unable to take to this one.  Maybe it's because I can't stand Cameron Diaz.  I have also been cold towards John Cusack since I saw the trainwreck that was 1408.

An unhappily married puppeteer, Craig, develops a crush on his coworker Maxine after being hired as a file clerk.  He discovers a portal behind a filing cabinet that allows him to enter the mind of John Malkovich.  If I was going to become a Yeerk (points to readers that understand that nerdy reference), John Malkovich would be low on my list of desired targets.  Craig reveals to the portal to Maxine, and the two begin to charge admission.  It isn't long before Craig learns how to make Malkovich one of his marionettes and um...things escalate logically from there.

There is certainly an original idea behind this film, but I think it might have better been explored in a less comedic way.  I mean, the implications of this universe are staggering, but the movie gives us very little information.  I wouldn't be complaining if the comedic aspects had worked better, but I didn't find the characters quite as amusing as I was supposed to.

I can see the appeal of this film, but in the end, I just didn't mesh well with it.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Spike Jonze has said that one producer asked him to rewrite the film as Being Tom Cruise.  That would quickly turn into a horror movie.


  1. This is a brilliant film, even if its oddities made it a little unrounded. The only genuinely original film I can think of in the past two or three decades.

    It didn't explore its deeper implications due the the humour? Hmm, perhaps, but these weren't empirical implications of life, were they? Just those created by its own bespoke world. In which case there isn't a need to explore them, just have fun with them and the characters as it so chooses.

    I heard that there were discussions about making it Being Michael Stipe, which may have suited the film better I suppose, but he turned it down in the end. Being Tom Cruise may have accidentally stumbled across all sorts of truths which the subject would rather not be raised in public...

  2. OK, I will come out and fess up I don't get the nerdy reference, and suffer the humiliation of asking it to be explained ..

  3. I don't necessarily think it was a fault of the film that the universe wasn't further explored, I just think I would have liked it more if it was since I didn't click with the quirky characters. But I guess it would be a completely different movie if they had gone into more specifics. I think I would be Tom Cruise if it meant I could have seen Nicole Kidman naked. And Ray, a Yeerk is an alien life form from the book series the Animorphs. It's like a slug that crawls into your ear and takes over your brain and controls you. It's probably more humiliating to know this information.

  4. It's probably more nauseating to know this information

  5. I found the choice of John Malkovich as victim hilarious and that that choice worked well for the tone of the movie. I would have loved to see the Tom Cruise version though... that would have been a blast.

  6. I really enjoyed the weirdness of the idea. It's been awhile but I'd probably give it a 5 or 6 out of 10. Unique.

  7. What was nauseating, the Yeerk part or my objectification of Kidman? Seems like everyone enjoyed this one!

  8. The slug in the ear is nauseating information. Objectifying Nicole Kidman is unprincipled but thrilling.