What Just Happened

by | Feb 27th, 2009 | 12:38PM | Filed under: DVD Reviews

What Just Happened to the last 1.5 hours of my life?!?Film producer Ben (Robert De Niro) has been having a run of bad luck.  His new movie was horribly received at a critical test screening, he suspects his second ex-wife (Robin Wright Penn) is cavorting with one of his colleagues, his daughter (Kristen Stewart) seems troubled but won't open up to him, and Bruce Willis — the lead in Ben's next film — refuses to shave his ridiculous beard before cameras start rolling.  Unfortunately, it's really hard to sympathize with Ben… or any of the other miserable characters in this adaptation of Art Linson's memoir, What Just Happened? Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line.  Over the course of its one hour and forty-four minute running time, I found myself asking a different question, and that question was, "Why should I care?"  If you're not actually a part of the Tinseltown machine, chances are you'll find this satire from director Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Wag the Dog) — whose films I typically love — indulgent and boring.

But if you are a huge movie geek — and by that I mean someone who enjoys learning about (or has firsthand experience in) the behind-the-scenes drama that comes along with film production — then What Just Happened may be more palatable to you than it would be to the vast majority of people who wouldn't get all of its inside-baseball jokes and references.  Still, it can't hold a candle to Robert Altman's 1992 Hollywood-skewering The Player, nor is it as entertaining as the HBO series Entourage.  In fact, all of its best scenes are given away in its trailer.  So watch that instead and save yourself the frustration of spending nearly two hours with a bunch of painfully self-obsessed characters who have no clue that they're nothing more than spoiled brats.

15 Responses to “What Just Happened

  1. Angelo
    Posted on February 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Robert Deniro’s time has come…and passed. It’s time to past the torch to some deserving talented thespian. He needs to focus less on films and more on the Tribeca Film Festival and Geoff Gilmore’s new role in that fest.

  2. Carmen Lopez
    Posted on March 2, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Robert Deniro is a good actor but i have to say this film was not one of his best work

  3. Amy Schmechel
    Posted on March 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I thought the movie was slow and totally uninteresting. I was intensely disappointed.

  4. Wynne' Pettaway
    Posted on March 2, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I agree that Robert DeNiro is a very good actor, and I believe this movie was just a movie he wanted to do because he didn’t have any other offers for a movie of his caliber!! And everyone knows there is a recession going on now even for actors,and actresses.

  5. Lora
    Posted on March 2, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Rented this cuz Robert Deniro is always good, but much to my surprise this movie stunk, it was hard to stay awake it was so boring.

  6. Julian Palomo
    Posted on March 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    i agree that rober Deniro is a great actor. i wish he could of had a better character to play but the movie was still decent given the circumstances he was given

  7. frankie waters
    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 1:26 am

    also agree that deniro is a really great actor, but this movie wasn’t worth a crap, I feel like I was robbed of my dollar, if you have not seen this movie yet dont waste you time.

  8. Jose
    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 6:17 am

    I have to see it,,,this is going to be my next critics movie

    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 8:21 am


  10. becca
    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 9:09 am

    thought it was boring

  11. Kathy
    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 9:13 am

    This movie was not his best. Fell asleep while watching it.

  12. The Roses
    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Any movie Mr.Deniro does i will always watch. This movie to me is just another facet to his talent and this i can appreciate.

  13. Renee
    Posted on March 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    This movie was extremely boring& a waste of time!

  14. nigel
    Posted on March 11, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    what just happened? I’ll tell you what just happened, I just wasted 2 hours of my life.

  15. william
    Posted on July 21, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    deniro or not,this movie is one of the worst i have ever seen.i take that back,because i have not seen all of it because my wife and i turned it off 20 minutes into it.it is that bad.bobby d. peaked in “Heat”.even at a dollar rental fee,i feel stiffed.