Chris Nashawaty
February 18, 2009 AT 05:00 AM EST

What Just Happened

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
110 minutes
Limited Release Date
10/17/08
Wide Release Date
10/31/08
performer
Robert De Niro, Stanley Tucci
director
Barry Levinson
distributor
Magnolia Pictures
author
Art Linson
genre
Comedy, Drama

We gave it a B-

Hollywood loves looking in the mirror, even when it’s embarrassed by what’s staring back (which, frankly, isn’t often enough). What Just Happened, Barry Levinson’s riff on producer Art Linson’s 2002 movie-biz memoir, has more clichés than a season of Entourage: weaselly agents, spoiled stars, and sleazy foreign financiers with statutory arm candy. De Niro, taking a break from broad comedy (thank God!), shines as a frazzled producer with two exes and a pair of celluloid nightmares — a pretentious Sean Penn flick whose ”edgy” ending features a dog getting shot, and a big-budget headache starring Bruce Willis, who refuses to shave his bushy, Talmudic beard. The message is: Everyone in Hollywood lies…mostly to themselves. The point is proven all too well on the EXTRAS commentary when Levinson and Linson crack up at their own wheezy gags. B?

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