See More Results
Home > Movies > Movies Like > 5 Movies like Being John Malkovich: Crazy Kaufman
Image source: zdn

5 Movies like Being John Malkovich: Crazy Kaufman

For personalised film suggestions please visit itcher.

Dale Barham itcherGet ready to step into the wondrously delirious and chaotic mind of Charlie Kaufman with movies like ‘Being John Malkovich’, ‘Adaptation’ and ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. Looking for for your fill of quirkiness? Nobody writes a script quite like this guy! ~ Dale Barham

Odd with a Capital ‘O’

I think it’s safe to say that even if you don’t know of Charlie Kaufman, you definitely know when you’ve seen a Charlie Kaufman movie. Films like ‘Being John Malkovich’ are so bizarre in their premise, they’ll leave you scratching your head. But then again, the writing is so crisp and brimming with originality, you can’t help but fall in love with the weirdos and the kooks over and over. In short, there’s no writer quite like him working in film today.

So if ‘Being John Malkovich’ hit all the right notes (and how could it not?), you’ll love these other Kaufman-­penned mindbogglers!


Movies Similar to ‘Being John Malkovich’…

‘Adaptation’ (Spike Jonze, 2002)

This movie will either make or break your screenwriting aspirations … or just confuse the hell out of you. Nicolas Cage stars in a dual role as Charlie Kaufman (I know, meta right?) who despairingly tries to adapt a deceptively difficult book for the screen. Meanwhile, his twin brother Donald (who knows nothing about screenwriting) has lucked out with a lucrative deal for his ham­fisted crime thriller screenplay.

Meryl Streep and my favourite actor, Chris Cooper, also star as the author and the inspiration for the book respectively, though this really is Cage’s moment to shine.

Similarity Match: 80%
Like ‘Being John Malkovich’, ‘Adaptation’ is self-­referential and very meta, but with an added insight into the workings of its estranged screenwriter.

‘Synecdoche, New York’ (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)

Get ready for one of the weirdest films you’ve ever seen as Philip Seymour Hoffman turns out yet another stunning performance as the genius theatre director, struggling with his craft and relationships, who sets about creating a life-­size replica of New York for his new play.

Charlie Kaufman directed this as well as writing the script … which goes some way in explaining why it’s so damn crazy. If you can get your head around it, you’ll love it. If you can’t … you’ll still love it!

Similarity Match: 70%
There’s similarly dysfunctional relationships and an air of obsession, but this is less about body swapping and much more of a brain teaser.

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (Michel Gondry, 2004)

Kaufman turns his attention to a brilliant love story with an added splash of sci­fi. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star as the couple whose relationship breaks down to the point where they feel the need to go for a procedure and have each other removed from their memory. It’s a bit like a reverse ‘Total Recall’ … without all the quips and bloodshed.

The likes of Elijah Wood and Mark Ruffalo also star in this quirky romance drama that has Kaufman’s stamp all over it.

Similarity Match: 70%
Like ‘Being John Malkovich’, this is another weird love story of sorts but with a more upbeat feel … only just.


If You Like ‘Being John Malkovich’, You Will Like…

One of my favourite parts of ‘Being John Malkovich’ was the eponymous man himself. It’s always a treat to see an actor star as themselves in a movie, often resulting in skewed caricatures awash with hilarity and satire. Sound like your cup of tea? Check these next two movies out as well!

‘Zombieland’ (Ruben Fleischer, 2009)

Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg star in the delightfully gory and fun romp in the zombie apocalypse, travelling across the States with Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin to get to the zombie free Pacific Playland. However when they stop off in Beverly Hills, they’re joined by an A-­list celebrity of epic proportions.

To give the cameo away would do it a disservice, but suffice it to say, this might be one of my favourite “actor playing themselves” moments ever!

If you like ‘Zombieland’ as much as I do, don’t forget to have a look at these other amazing movies as well.

‘Zombieland’ and ‘Being John Malkovich’ are two very different films, but they make use of their real life stars in gloriously inventive and satisfying ways.

‘This Is the End’ (Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen, 2013)

When the apocalypse occurs during their house party, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and the rest of their comedy crew must figure out a way to survive the demonic forces vying for their idiotic souls and earn their way into Heaven. Sounds ludicrous right? Well it is, but seeing these guys play inflated versions of themselves never gets old.

Props to Michael Cera for stealing the show!

And don’t forget to also have a look at these other fun films like ‘This Is the End’.

As with ‘Being John Malkovich’, you’re constantly questioning how close these characters are to their real life personalities. Something tells me they’re not actually like his … or are they?


Surreal Scripts and Actors Playing Themselves

So there you have it, a host of movies featuring fantastical scripts wrought with laughs, witty dialogue and enough originality to make budding scriptwriters jealous. And if you’re still not satisfied, I’ve even thrown in some hilarious actors playing themselves on the big screen. What a movie marathon this has turned out to be!

So tell me, what are some of your favourite Kaufman movies?

What movies would you recommend where actors star as themselves?

Let me know in the comments section below!

Hi, I’m Dale and I’m a Blu-Ray addict. When I’m not obsessively fixating over the ever-growing mountain of movies taking up most of the front room, I’m usually writing about all things Hollywood. Go figure, huh? If I’m not glued to the television watching ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ for the billionth time, you can probably find me crooning in my hard-rocking blues band or having inane conversations with the resident cats.
[thrive_leads id="105464"]

Find out what the community are loving on the itcher app right now.


Still looking for a
movie to watch?

Rate 5 movies and we'll find your next favorite one. For FREE.