March 5th, 2003

Milton Keynes Cineworld, 5/3/2003, 7pm

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, having seen and enjoyed ‘Being John Malkovitch’ with all its weirdness and whatnot, but it soon became apparent that ‘Adaptation‘ was going to be more of the same.

This isn’t to say that we’d ‘seen it all before’ – far from it. But in the same way that Being John Malkovitch challenged our general perception of a screenplay, so did Adaptation. However, it went one further by making the odd screenplay the subject of the film itself.

It’s going to be difficult explaining the actual plot behind the film but basically it’s about two screenwriters (Kaufman, played by Cage and Kaufman, played by Cage) who, between them manage to write a film that features both of them and is about them trying to write a screenplay based upon a book about flowers written by a middle class woman (Susan Orlean played by Meryl Streep).

Orleans’ book really is all about flowers, well Orchids to be more precise, and Charlie Kaufman has the initial task of making into a film. He struggles and ends up getting his brother to lend him a hand. His brother has just written a screenplay himself called ‘The 3’ that has the stupidest plot in the world. Everybody likes it and he gets all the chicks. His brother, meanwhile, does not have any social ability whatsoever.

The screenplay was actually written by Charlie and Donald Kaufman in real life. This makes it even weirder. Strange then, that one should die at the end of the film. Is he dead in real life too. At this point it all gets too confusing and I crave the £1.50 a bottle of Miller in the bar opposite the cinema.

My rating? Well, it’s exceedingly funny and you really don’t know where it’s going next. Cage and Streep give really strong and funny performances but the other characters do not get much character development. Definitely worth seeing if you like the surreal. Four out of five. Read a proper review here and what’s old Shay got to say?