Adaptation (2002) – Beautifully Meta

Sometimes, you just don’t have it. You just feel lost and have no ideas. It’s nice to know that someone as talented as Charlie Kaufman goes through the same thing. Adaptation (2002) is about just that. Adaptation, written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich), is an exaggerated account of Charlie Kaufman’s attempt to write an adaptation of a book.

In the movie, and real life, Charlie Kaufman was hired to write a screenplay based on the book The Orchid Thief. In the movie, and real life, Kaufman struggles to write the movie due to the book lacking a narrative structure.

The whole movie is an exaggerated and fictionalized account of Kaufman desperately trying to write the movie and is full of meta jokes and commentary.

Such as the movie being full of narration only for a character to later rant about how lazy narration is as a story telling device. Or how Kaufman goes on a rant about how egotistical it is to put yourself in a story you’re writing. Or the fake twin brother Kaufman gives himself in the movie who is written to be a lame moron but excels in every avenue Kaufman fails in the movie (like getting a girlfriend and writing a successful script). The fake brother was even credited as a writer on the actual movie and has technically nominated for an Oscar, which is wild.

The movie is full of those little jokes relating to and exposing Kaufman’s own real life insecurities he was feeling while trying to write the movie. Making the film a bit more endearing then it is self-aggrandizing.

You can watch this movie, on Amazon Prime, and decide for yourself if Kaufman writing a movie about himself is charming or just about the most egotistical thing in the world.

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