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Being John Malkovich movie review
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Being John Malkovich

"In the future" Andy Warhol promised us " Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes".

Be famous for fifteen minutes. Have you ever wanted to be some one else? Be John Malkovich. For only $200 you get to slide through a portal into his brain and experience what he experiences for fifteen glorious minutes…and then you drop out of the sky, besides the freeway, into the mud - but don't worry, we'll be there to catch you.

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It's quite an experience: Lotte liked it so much she fell in love with Maxine and decided she wanted a sex change operation. But Maxine only wanted Lotte when she was inside John. Luckily he was happy to help out (not that he knew about it of course, well, not at first anyway….he got a little suspicious when Maxine started calling him Lotte in the moment of passion, but he just went along with it. You know how it is).

Actually that thing with Lotte and Maxine could have got out of hand as Lotte's husband was also in love with her…Maxine, that is. For a while there it looked like we might have had a threesome….or a foursome with John as well, but ….then Craig locked Lotte in the cage with the monkey and ran off to be with Maxine (who thought she was with Lotte and not Craig who was actually there).


Don't be. This is quite simply one of the most original, funny and imaginative films around. It works on several levels, and handles all of them smoothly. The script is tight and witty, the performances flawless and the sets and costumes a delight.

I can't wait to see this one again, in fact I think it will be one of those rare films I want on video to see over and over - it's worth it to see Cameron Diaz as an animal-loving frump with frizzy hair, John Cusack a total dag and John Malkovich sending himself up mercilessly. One of the highlights for me were the scenes of John Malkovich playing John Cusack playing John Malkovich. You will believe! And don't start me on the fabulous scene where JM goes into his own portal… Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich ...

There are lovely cameos, Charlie Sheen most memorably, playing himself several years on with a comb-over, Winona Ryder, Brad Pitt….what this film proves once and for all is that these actors are not afraid to laugh at themselves. Who ever would have guessed that inside of Sean Penn lay a frustrated would-be puppeteer? Not bad for a first stab at directing, Spike.

If you haven't already seen it, I heartily recommend it. As the man says, do yourself a favour ...

Ali says:
As a rule of thumb, if a film has John Cusack in it, it's guaranteed to be quirky. Being John Malkovic is an extraordinary surreal film about a young man who discovers a pathway through to the inside of John Malkovic's mind. Together with an office co-worker, he builds a business, charging others to spend a short time in the actor's mind.

More ...

Add your comments Nicky Jenkins
Due for Australian release July
For credits and official site details, see below
See also: Ali's review
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Just the facts:

Title: Being John Malkovich (2001)
See Ali's review for credits.

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Filed: 25-May-2001 : Last updated: : Last tested: 8-Jul-2014
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