Being John Malkovich Spike Jonze
Published Feb 01, 2000A quick glance at the marquee of your average gigaplex will tell you that there aren't too many original ideas out there, but even without being a funny and entertaining movie, which it is, Being John Malkovich is unique at the very least. This directorial debut from acclaimed video director Spike Jonze (responsible for Weezer's Happy Days take-off, and Fatboy Slim's "Torrance Community Dance Group" parody) is a skewed vision of celebrity and its hold on people unsatisfied with their own lives. Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is a brilliant, but unsuccessful street puppeteer - his visionary tiny figures on strings could bring tears to your eyes if they weren't so hilariously absurd - and his wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) is a pet store employee who's turned their apartment into a zoo. To make ends meet, he takes a job on the 7 1/2 floor of a corporate tower, and the introduction to that piece of absurdity is almost worth the price of admission alone. It gets stranger: In his tiny office, Schwartz discovers a tiny door that leads inside the head of actor John Malkovich. For 15 minutes at a time, before getting dumped out of thin air at the side of the New Jersey turnpike, one can be Malkovich, who plays himself. Catherine Keener also gives a spectacular turn as a bitchy office mate who entangles herself in Craig and Lotte's lives when they decide to sell tickets to Malkovich's head. The plot twists and turns get a little over-the-top in the film's final act, but where would you expect such a film to go? You don't know, of course, because you've never seen anything like it, and that's reason enough to see this.