What Just Happened | Chicago Reader

What Just Happened

Robert De Niro stars as a harried movie producer trying to deal with a broken marriage, a director who refuses to recut his Sean Penn drama following a disastrous preview, and Bruce Willis, whose insistence on keeping his bushy beard threatens to derail the shooting of a big-bucks action picture. Art Linson (a real-life producer whose long resumé includes The Untouchables and Fight Club) wrote the script, and Barry Levinson directed. The industry gags are pretty familiar—the Penn film, in violation of the well-known Hollywood adage, ends with a dog being shot to death—but De Niro carries this with the sighing, shambling-bear persona that's defined him in middle age. If you're looking for the sort of edge he had in the 70s, you'll have to settle for Catherine Keener doing her castrating-bitch routine as an icy studio chief. With Robin Wright Penn, Stanley Tucci, and John Turturro.

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