Being John Malkovich

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:52 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Being John Malkovich
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich, Charlie Sheen
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: USA Films
Kiddie Movie: Let’s see? Sex. Nudity. Bad language. A fucked up story line. I don’t think so.
Date Movie: She might chuckle or hate you.
Gratuitous Sex: Some, and some nipple shots of Catherine.
Gratuitous Violence: Craig locks Lotte in a monkey cage.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: Lots.
Memorable Scene: John Malkovich entering John Malkovich.
Memorable Quote: Too many to quote.
Directed By: Spike Jonze

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall listening in at this pitch meeting. “Well, the basic story of the movie goes like this. There’s this loser puppeteer. He can’t find a job as a puppeteer, is slightly perverted, and his wife is a little goofy and loves animals, especially taking care of a monkey who has ulcers and is in therapy, the monkey that is. Well, one day this puppeteer finds a job on the 7 ½ floor of an office building. The room is about 5 feet high so everybody has to crouch over. While there he finds the woman of his dreams but she has no interest in him. Then, one day he finds this door, crawls through, finds himself in John Malkovich’s head, and then after about 15 minutes he gets spit out on a ramp near the Jersey turnpike.” “Did you say ‘John Malkovich?'” “Yea, well, his nutty wife goes through the portal, thinks she’d like to be a man, falls in love with the hot chick his husband wants, and guess what, the hot chick falls in love with her, but only if she’s in John. But then the puppeteer realizes he can stay in John Malkovich and the hot chick doesn’t seem to care, sort of.” “That’s it?” “Well, you’ve also got a horny old boss who has this mysterious connection to John Malkovich.” “And we have to have John Malkovich?” “Well, yea, otherwise the title ‘Being John Malkovich’ will be pretty silly now, wouldn’t it?”

So, did you catch that? I can see you reading the basic gist of the movie above and going “Wow, that sounds pretty fucked up. I don’t know if I want to see that.” Well, “Being John Malkovich” is pretty fucked up, but totally enjoyable in a fucked up sort of way.

The movie has lots of laughs, mostly for the unbelievability of it all. First of all there is the 7 ½ floor, which you enter by hitting the stop button in the elevator as the light goes between 7 and 8 and prying open the doors with a crowbar. You can’t help but laugh as totally normal people walk around, hunched over, and find this normal. John Cusack as the wacky puppeteer, Craig, is great. Cameron Diaz does probably the only role I’ve ever seen her where I didn’t find her totally hot (just partially hot) as Lotte, Craig’s wife. Maxine (Catherine Keener) plays the “able to use any man” role just about perfect. And John Malkovich plays himself, which sounds bizarre enough, especially when John Malkovich isn’t really John Malkovich but is John Malkovich possessed by Craig. I know, it sounds twisted, but somehow it all comes together.

I guess going into any more of this movie won’t help because it probably won’t make any more sense than what I wrote above. Let’s just say that the humor isn’t the gut-busting kind, but there are lots of laughs and chuckles, mostly at the expense of John Malkovich and one at the expense of what Charlie Sheen will look like when male pattern baldness sets in.

I think you will come out of “Being John Malkovich” in one of two ways, either really liking the movie and saying it was twisted or really hating the movie and saying it was twisted. I’m on the liking side and give it 4 stars out of 5.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!