What Just Happened?

That's what WE wanted to know.... Watching this movie was like reading the fiction feature in The New Yorker magazine: Lots of erudite elements but it never jells...and then it just dribbles away and stops... Truth in advertising would dictate that this movie be at least as funny as the trailers, but no such luck.

The making of movies is a lot like the making of sausages: We would like them better if we didn't know what went into them! We watch Robert De Niro's Hollywood-based movie director endlessly driving around the Los Angeles area, always late, rushing from one meeting to another, talking (and lying!) on his Bluetooth headset, picking up his children from various marriages and delivering them to their various schools. He can't seem to keep his projects under control as he dashes from one disaster to another, nor can he control his ex-wives, consequently his personal life unravels as well. He doesn't seem like a BAD person, but he certainly isn't a GOOD one.

These are the people we watch:
  • Robert De Niro ("Stardust" and "The Good Shepherd") - over-stressed movie producer faced with launching an artsy catastrophe.
  • Catherine Keener ("Capote" and "Friends With Money") - icy studio head with a deceptively calm demeanor.
  • Bruce Willis ("Fast Food Nation" and "Grindhouse") - playing a bearded actor named Bruce Willis who contracted for a new action movie but, in a highly profane manner, refuses to shave his newly grown facial hair.
  • John Turturro ("Transformers" and "Margot at the Wedding") - nervous talent agent with a nasty case of acid reflux.
  • Sean Penn ("Milk" and "The Interpreter") - playing confident actor Sean Penn who stars in a brutal, bloody film that will debut at Cannes (they shoot the dog!).
  • Robin Penn Wright ("Message in a Bottle," "Forrest Gump," and of course the classic, "Princess Bride") - Robert De Niro's second or third wife. I lost track...
  • Stanley Tucci ("Swing Vote" and "The Devil Wears Prada") - scriptwriter dating De Niro's ex. (But he's signed Brad Pitt for his new project, so De Niro probably will collaborate anyway.)

In this movie's defense, we are treated to a lengthy scene (one long take) between the always excellent Robin Penn Wright and Robert De Niro at the Divorce Counselor's office ("You'll come out of this therapy so happy you'll never want to be married again!"). We never see the counselor's face, but we know from the trailer that it's Jane Lynch ("Another Cinderella Story" and Christopher Guest's repertory company, e.g., "Best in Show" and "A Mighty Wind")!

Other than that, there were too f**kin' many four-letter words!