Nicolas Cage as Charlie Kaufman
Meryl Streep as Susan Orlean
Chris Cooper as John Laroche
Brian Cox as Robert McKee
Cara Seymour as Amelia
Rheagan Wallace as Kim Canetti
Judy Greer as Alice
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Caroline
Curtis Hanson as Susan’s Husband
John Cusack as himself
Spike Jonze as himself
Catherine Keener as herself
When the screenwriter of “Being John Malkovich” is given the task of adapting the novel “The Orchard Thief” (by writer Meryl Streep) to the big screen, he gets writer’s block and decides to put himself in the screenplay.
Well for starters, the screenplay is brilliant, original and has an edge to it, very similar to “Being John Malkovich” in fact, the movie is visited as we see Charlie Kauffman on the set with all the cast members making a cameo, (Malkovich, John Cusack, Catherine Keener ) and we also find out Charlie has a twin brother, (both roles played by Cage). I thought it was fun seeing Charlie Kaufmann’s insecurities and the relationship with his brother.
I enjoyed seeing behind the scenes of a movie in a movie that wasn’t too “Inside Hollywood” that sometimes alienates an audience. The acting is top notch, which never is a problem when you got Cage and Streep on the clock. So much talent in this project that even when nothing much is happening on screen, at least you are caught up in the characters. I am a huge fan of both Streep and Cage. I will go see anything they do. Chris Cooper is superb as always playing the Orchid Thief with no two front teeth. The casual film goer may not know who he is cause he is not a household name but as soon as you see him, you know him from countless movies that you enjoyed.
What Didn’t Work:
Well there is a dull middle part of this film, but just like in the screenplay seminar that Charlie Kauffman goes to hosted by Robert McKee who says, “as long as you have a great ending, people will forgive the rest of it” which is true here.
There were a few other things that bothered me about “Adaptation,” but I saw it a few weeks ago and the great performances have clouded my memory.
I liked “Adaptation”. Will audiences agree with me? I don’t think anyone will be asking for their money back but I think they will like it’s quirkiness, they will know they saw something special, what they saw they might not know but will have seen a screenwriter taking a risk and fans of “Being John Malkovich” will enjoy themselves. Not a real big fan of BJM? Don’t worry, take a risk or wait till it comes out on video, just make sure you see it.