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What Just Happened?

An insider's comedic critique of Tinsel Town fails to engage.



A good cast, an often reliable director (Barry Levinson) and potentially meaty source material (the memoirs of Hollywood producer Art Linson) can't save this turgid outing -- yet another swipe at the shallowness of the Dream Factory by those working within it. Robert DeNiro portrays a harried producer (is there any other kind?) during one typically bad week: He has one film to re-cut after it flunks a test-screening (a loopy director with "artistic principles" stands in the way) and another film being delayed by ... wait for it ... Bruce Willis' heavy beard. There's little fresh here -- temperamental stars, neurotic screenwriters, pandering producers, pissy ex-wives, screwed-up kids, business-focused studio heads. But even a retread might fly -- who doesn't enjoy seeing Catherine Keener, John Turturro and Stanley Tucci? -- if only there were some laughs. Starts Fri., Nov. 14.

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