Being John Malkovich

Movie Reviews | Oct 29th, 1999

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Starring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich
Written By: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich
Directed By: Spike Jonze

When this script was first being shopped around, it was a huge joke at all the studios. He who laughs last… I’m assuming the script went through some changes since then, because this was one of the funniest, darkest, most original, and overall best movie I’ve seen in a LONG time.

John Cusack plays Craig Schwartz, an out of work puppeteer, married to animal-lover Lotte — an unrecognizably frumpy Cameron Diaz. Unhappy with his marriage and his life, he gives up and goes looking for a second-rate job. He becomes a speed filer on the 7 1/2 floor of an incredibly bizarre and low-ceilinged company. His boss is a 105 year old lech, his secretary is a downright lunatic. His coworker, Maxine, is a cold ambitious control-freak, for whom he falls into mad lust. And behind a file cabinet he finds a portal…

that leads to the mind of John Malkovich for 15 minutes and then dumps you on the side of the jersey Turnpike. John Malkovich becomes a tool for Craig to pursue his obsession with his coworker Maxine. But when Lotte enters Malkovich, things take a turn when she falls for Maxine as well. (Diaz gets the best lines of the movie: “Don’t stand in the way of my actualization of being a man” and “Suck my dick!“) And Maxine returns the affection… only when Lotte is inside Malkovich. Until Craig learns to control the Malkovich… And when Malkovich finds all this out and enters his own mind? This is a dark (yet strangely hilarious) tale of loneliness, control, and obsession.

At times, it’s so insane you feel like you’re being pelted with rocks, but you can’t stop giggling. All the acting is great, the story line is phenomenal, and it’s up there with Brazil in terms of originality, darkness, style, weirdness, and humor. Highly recommended.

Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 112 minutes
Overall Rating:


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