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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In a way, Halina Reijn’s Bodies Bodies Bodies is a bloodbath long before the first of its characters drops dead. The film opens with new couple Sophie (Amandla Stenberg) and Bee (Maria Bakalova), who are en route to wait out a hurricane at a coked-up house-party courtesy of Sophie’s friend-group. Already in attendance at the gathering are aspiring actress Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), her frenzied, machismo millennial of a boyfriend with self-proclaimed big-dick energy, David (who else but Pete Davidson), fun-loving space-cadet Alice (Rachel Sennott) and her hunky forty-year-old Tinder boytoy, Greg (Lee Pace), and perpetual skeptic Jordan (Myha’la Herrold).
From the moment the friends first convene on David’s pool deck, catty drama thrives like bacteria in a petri dish. From piercing words between ex-lovers Sophie and Jordan, to the glaring incompatibilities between David and Emma, the explosive social tensions of Bodies are bound to have its audience bracing for bloodshed within the first 10 minutes. So what do the characters do to lighten the mood? Participate in a party game that requires them to pretend to kill each other, of course. What could possibly go wrong?
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