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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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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’.
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!
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