What Just Happened - DVD Review

'a great comedic premise without any comedic wit'

What Just Happened? probably wins the award for 'Best Film on Paper' I can remember seeing recently. As such, read: Robert DeNiro's likeable producer has two weeks to pull together the final cut of a film in time for the Cannes Film Festival whilst trying not to annoy the Director who doesn't want to change its controversial ending. At the same time his new film faces sabotage from an overweight, bearded, Bruce Willis (self-parodying to great effect). As if that wasn't enough his private life is also a mess with two ex-wifes and kids to deal with, one of whom is seeing his script-writer acquaintance. Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, somehow, Director Barry Levinson fails to pull it all together in any discernibly funny way and the only time the film made me laugh out loud was when it went for the startlingly obvious slapstick moment at a funeral. Other than that, which isn't exactly a sophisticated moment of comedy genius, the jokes are typically delivered poorly and without any aplomb by the cast, of whom only Willis excels himself, acting up as the heavyweight Hollywood star who knows he scares the pants off everyone around him.

Turturro's weasly agent has his moments but his over-acting feels out of place in what is, for a comedy, an extremely sub-dued film. Simialry Catherine Keener is well cast as DeNiro's hard-nosed boss and her subtle looks and actions are enough to tell us that she's got him by the balls. In all though it's a dissapointment. A great comedic premise without any comedic wit.

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