My family tried to watch this movie, and I think it gave them all a pounding headache. They didn't understand it, they couldn't, and they complained through most of it and then finally left, leaving only me watching.

I'll admit it was intensely crazy, but I loved it, and I thought it was an awesome film. It's so intensely warped, and hard to comprehend, but the story is just so neat. It's also really funny in parts. I mean, this movie has everything so long as you actually watch it instead of complaining about how strange it is, which is what most people I know did. They didn't even bother to try and get anything out of it because it was just too "weird".

It's just a really cool flick, that's all.. amazing, even. Crazy intense warped stuff, that's what it is. I loved it.
Something to think about is: how did the writers refer to their concept for this movie before the casting was done?

I'm thinking it had a different title altogether, but they changed in order to be part of (and poke fun at, in a way) the "Verbing Proper Noun" phenomenon.

Okay, yossarian has informed me that the writers had John Malkovich in mind from the start, and that the movie probably wouldn't have been made if Malkovich had declined the part. That's interesting to know.

A bizarre comedy released in 1999. Directed by Spike Jonze. Written by Charlie Kaufman. Players: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, Charlie Sheen, John Malkovich, and more.

Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can.

Craig Schwartz, a struggling puppeteer played by Cusack, takes a job as a filer on the 7 1/2 floor of a bizarre building in Manhattan. While working there Craig becomes infatuated with Maxine, another person working on the 7 1/2 floor played by Keener, and finds a small door that contains a portal to the head of John Malkovich. When the characters go into the portal they can see, hear, feel, taste, etc whatever John Malkovich is doing. Maxine makes a business out of it. Craig's wife Lotte, played by Cameron Diaz, also falls for Maxine, but Maxine only likes Lotte when she is in Malkovich. Being a puppeteer Craig begins to learn how to control Malkovich and stay inside longer. This when the show really starts to get interesting.

I liked this movie, it was strange and unique. I thought it got a little slow at times, but never for too long. I'll give it 3.0/4.0.

The few Oscar nominations this film received do not do it justice. While Catherine Keener was the only actor to be nominated (and I suppose, beaten fairly by Angelina Jolie), the film is contributed to by John Cusack, Cameron Diaz and, most importantly, John Malkovich.

Malkovich's role is the thing that makes this film take that extra step away from sharp comedy. While the lesbian overtones have become almost the focus of the film for many people, they are just a subset of what is arguably one of the most exquisite double entendres ever seen in modern cinema.

Cusack's part as the the puppeteer is (I promised myself I wouldn't use this word, but I will) symbolic of the idea that people cannot understand themselves, so they take to understanding, empathising, and ultimately, controlling others. This tenet is expressed in a number of ways - Keener uses the control as a retrograde form of power, Diaz uses it as self-discovery (the point of the lesbian overtones is she is discovering who she really is), and the puppeteer, he can never truly work out why he is running from himself and into Malkovich, and this is one of the saddest parts of the movie.

I loved this film, and am thus biased in what I say and what I see, but I believe these ideas are exempt from like and hate. As Cusack says in passing during the film, the discovery of the portal to Malkovich is a 'metaphysical can of worms'. This borders on corny, I know, but in all honesty, I cannot be sure that Spike Jonze is not in my mind now writing this, and that I have just been the puppet all along.

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