Directed by Spike Jonze
Writing credits Charlie Kaufman
Nicolas Cage.... Charlie Kaufman/Donald Kaufman
Meryl Streep.... Susan Orlean
Chris Cooper.... John Laroche
Cara Seymour.... Amelia Kavan
Tilda Swinton.... Valerie Thomas
Ron Livingston.... Marty Bowen
Brian Cox.... Robert McKee
Protagonist. Conflict. (Wedge in a love story). Character arc. Climax! Denouement. Three acts. End with a whopper and you got them. You can fight it but there's only one way to write a screenplay. Well, one way to write a screenplay that will sell, sell, sell! Hollywood wins every time.
"Adaptation" is about admitting defeat and still winning. Kaufman is right. There is no way to make a movie about a guy who steals flowers. But then again, there is a way. I know because I just watched it. It was called "Adaptation". Throw in some flower drugs, a car crash...ooohh, car crashes are cool...and sex. Don't forget about sex. Never forget about sex. When people are watching a movie, they are not having sex. But it's always good to remind the audience about the good times. Wrap it all up with some self loathing and a flower thief and you've got a Green Light on that picture!
So the struggle to stay true to the book/yourself/art collides head on with the reality of movie making. What does the audience want to see? What's hot this week? Who knows? How about a movie about a writer who can't write? Brilliant! Wedge a love story in and it can't lose.
If you like flicks about Hollywood and the creative process, you'll like this movie. Oh, and Kaufman's agent, (Ron Livingston), cracked me up. He knew the perfect icebreaking line to ease the tension.
SCORE: 4 out of 4 Kaufman brothers