Liz: 5 out of 5 stars

Let me just start off by getting this off my chest. I really do not like Nic Cage. Growing up I just always knew that my mom didn’t like him very much as an actor and I guess I took that on and it grew into a pure hatred (perhaps a bit too strong, I’m sure he’s a good person maybe) of the actor. I’ve really only seen three of his movies in their entirety (National Treasure, National Treasure 2, and The Sorceror’s Apprentice) because I can’t stand seeing him on screen. I know this all sounds very dramatic but I have always avoided him as much as possible. Omar has been very aware of this for years and has respected it, but I’ve heard him say many times that the movie Adaptation is pretty great, and I should give it a chance. You can see how much I love and trust Omar if I watch a Nic Cage movie for him.


I still don’t like you Nic Cage.

Now that that’s all taken care of, onto the review! I absolutely loved this film, which was directed by Spike Jonze and stars Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, and Chris Cooper. It was incredibly ambitious, well-executed, smart, funny, on and on. I expected it to be great as it was written by Charlie Kaufman of Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York fame.

Quick basic Liz summary: Coming off of writing a very successful screenplay (Being John Malkovich), Charlie Kaufman struggles to write the screenplay for the book The Orchid Thief, which he desperately wants to remain loyal to. There’s a number of other elements in the movie, but I’ll keep the summary at that.

After my initial complaints about Cage, I focused in on what was happening and was very impressed. It seems ambitious to write yourself into a film (along with a fictional twin brother, also played by Cage) and then write the film into the film. I hope you know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen it before. If not, you need to go watch! It took me a hot second to start figuring out what was going on, but once I did I was hooked. Along with a really cool, clever story, the characters were great. Though the character Charlie was a bit pathetic in my eyes, he was also relatable in a way. I can only imagine the pressure of making another successful screenplay and experiencing horrible writer’s block in the process, along with having to deal with a twin brother who is trying to do the same thing. I haven’t read into the real Charlie Kaufman, so I’m wondering if he was making this all up or if there were some elements of his real life in this. His fictional twin brother, Donald Kaufman was hilarious and such the opposite of Charlie. This movie is the first time that I’ll admit that Nicolas Cage has ~some~ acting ability, as I was impressed with how he was able to play two extremely different characters. He actually made me laugh (*shudder*) several times. The characters and storyline for Susan Orlean (Streep) and John Laroche (Cooper) were interesting as well, if a bit ridiculous. I enjoyed it though and provided a good conclusion for Kaufman’s screenplay.

I learned something from this movie….. that one can actually enjoy a Nicolas Cage performance. Lol ok seriously, this movie was incredible to me. How Charlie Kaufman (the real one) is able to give the world such creative and smart stories is very impressive. I think I still personally liked Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind more. Watching this also makes me want to rewatch Synecdoche, New York, as even though I’ve seen it, I don’t really think I grasped it all.