EW Staff
September 29, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What Just Happened

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
110 minutes
Limited Release Date
10/17/08
Wide Release Date
10/31/08
performer
Robert De Niro, Stanley Tucci
director
Barry Levinson
distributor
Magnolia Pictures
author
Art Linson
genre
Comedy, Drama

We gave it a B

In this Hollywood satire, adapted from Art Linson’s 2002 book of the same name, Robert De Niro stars as a beleaguered producer tasked with convincing Bruce Willis — who plays himself — to shave his slovenly caveman beard for a role. He also must contend with the loose-cannon director of a violent Sean Penn movie (Michael Wincott), an icy studio exec (Catherine Keener), and his own estranged wife (Robin Wright Penn). If making a movie is like assembling a sandwich, says veteran filmmaker Levinson (Diner), then the producer is the hold-it-all-together ”mayonnaise. He’s not just some slick guy!”
OUR TWO CENTS Despite its impressive cast, the movie failed to connect with audiences at Sundance or Cannes. Too insider-y for the masses?

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