Partway through The Bubble, Judd Apatow’s new film about a swarm of A-listers banding together to make a blockbuster sequel in the early days of the pandemic, Dustin (David Duchovny) pleads with Sundance-darling-turned-Blockbuster-producer Darren (Fred Armisen) to let him rewrite the script of Cliff Beasts 6 to be smarter and sharper. Darren swiftly shoots down this request, arguing that audiences are dumb, and should be treated as such.
This moment is played for laughs and is largely used to help paint a picture of Dustin as a clueless member of the Hollywood elite who is convinced that he’s doing something important. But this interaction also serves as a meta-comment on The Bubble itself. Indeed, a long-winded comedy about making a movie at the beginning of the pandemic has the potential to say something interesting about celebrity culture, about the way different classes treat crises, about creating art when the world is on the brink of ending. The problem is, Apatow doesn’t seem to think his audience is quite shrewd enough to get it.
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