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What Just Happened

Half-baked insider parody
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 28, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars


Based on the Art Linson autobiography, this half-baked insider parody tries hard to be madcap. Burnt-out producer Ben (Robert De Niro) has problems: the director of his new movie has concocted a final scene in which the hero — played by Sean Penn (played by Sean Penn) — gets killed and his dog has its brains blown out. After a disastrous test screening, Ben still can’t persuade the loony filmmaker to kill the killing of the dog. Another project stars Bruce Willis (played by Bruce Willis), who shows up on the set with a beard and a bad attitude. Then Ben finds a pink argyle sock under his ex-wife’s bed, the kind of hosiery that could be worn only by the screenwriter (who isn’t Stanley Tucci but is played by him), a man who earlier in the film pitched Ben a script in which Brad Pitt (played by no one; he never makes an appearance) plays a florist. “There isn’t a film there,” Ben tells the screenwriter. Sounds like What Just Happened. 107 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Fresh Pond + Chestnut Hill + Suburbs 
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