What Just Happened
Directed by Barry Levinson
A producer deals with the headaches of Hollywood.
What Just Happened is like “old Hollywood’s version of Entourage,” said Peter Travers in Rolling Stone. An “insider’s take on the greed and vanity that make Tinseltown tick,” the comedy stars Robert De Niro, is directed by Barry Levinson (of Diner and Wag the Dog), and was written by veteran producer Art Linson, who freely borrowed from his own memoir. De Niro plays a producer desperately trying to fix his personal affairs amid professional turmoil. As the film pokes fun at its own industry, it offers up the usual suspects, said Carino Chocano in the Los Angeles Times. There’s the smug writer (Stanley Tucci), the icy studio head (Catherine Keener), and the nervous agent (John Turturro) who’s afraid of his own client (Bruce Willis playing himself). The movie shows “Hollywood in all its back-stabbing, hypocritical, self-serving, narcissistic, self-sabotaging glory.” But this supposed satire is “more self-congratulatory than it is vicious,” said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. What Just Happened pretends to be “knowing and insiderish,” but only delivers tired clichés about big, bad, backbiting Hollywood.