The Bubble (2022)
April 1, 2022 5:52 PM - Subscribe

A group of actors and actresses stuck inside a pandemic bubble at a hotel attempts to complete a film. A Netflix original starring Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Pedro Pascal, Leslie Mann, Vir Das, David Duchovny, Keegan Michael-Key, Fred Armisen, Maria Bamford, Kate McKinnon, Rob Delaney, Peter Serafinowicz, and many others. Directed by Judd Apatow.
posted by DirtyOldTown (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Me, pulling this up for my family after having seen the trailer, which looked funny: Yes. Terrific.
A few seconds later, as I notice this comedy is 126 minutes long: Oh man, fuck you, Judd Apatow. Fuck you so hard.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:56 PM on April 1, 2022 [9 favorites]

The funny parts of this movie are indeed funny, but this is exactly what I feared it would be: a half hour too long. God damn you, Judd Apatow. At this length, it's bordering on intolerable.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:09 PM on April 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

Every so often we get a handful of tickets to sports events and free stuff at work, which our "cultural outreach person" mostly gives out to investors. Sometimes she offers spares to staff.

She invited me to a screening of this in NYC this week, one with Judd Apatow in attendance. I was a little too fried and turned her down. I'm sensing that this may have been a good thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:30 AM on April 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

It's an hour's worth of jokes (only about half of which are funny) floating around in two hours plus worth of movie, with an absurdly stacked cast working on overdrive trying to keep it afloat. It's also wild how a movie about the pandemic feels dated even before the pandemic has ended.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:35 AM on April 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

I haven't watched yet but was pulled in to the trailer after spotting Guz Khan and Peter Serafinowicz. Did not realize it was that long. It's sad to hear they may have wasted such a talented cast.
posted by synecdoche at 11:57 AM on April 2, 2022

I watched it yesterday, unfortunately it didn't really have a plot. I'd recommend fastforwarding through the boring parts. It would have been a better movie if they turned it into a murder mystery or went full out Spinal Tap and did it as a documentary maybe? It definitely had a lot of a-list celebrities and I felt there were some inside Hollywood jokes about the pandemic or Hollywood in general. Maybe I have Covid fatigue but it already felt really dated, it might have been better during the actual pandemic.

Judd Apatow does better when films focus on upper class people having upper class problems, but generally when it is really focused on one or two people. He really had top notch talent, which might've been a curse. Oddly the best characters were probably his daughter and Maria Bakalova, both of which were underdeveloped. Well, everyone was underdeveloped, but they felt like they had the most promise. Really the talent was there: Pedro Pascal was the only watchable character, David Duchovny was flat when all you had to do was given him back his Californication persona, Fred Armisen didn't get enough screen time, Keegan needed just to be himself and you have the movie ready made. Judd Apatow just doesn't do slapstick or silliness well. He's best sticking to characters talking like a Woody Allen film.

One review compared it to Tropic Thunder without having a Tom Cruise character really leaning into the role. I think that's a good comparison.
posted by geoff. at 2:56 PM on April 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm a longtime fan, but has Judd Apatow ever made a movie that wasn't too long?

Knocked Up and Trainwreck are both over two hours, and Funny People is almost 2 1/2.

I thought that was just, like, one of his things.
posted by box at 3:12 PM on April 2, 2022

*fingers drum on the table*
Still waiting for Karen Gillan to get cast in a role she deserves. Still waiting
*drumming intensifies*
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:56 PM on April 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

We watched (most of) this last night and enjoyed it (We had to stop with 40 minutes left, because it was late and we’re olds) Yes, it could definitely use some tightening-up, but it’s not like it’s ponderously overlong. There are a few subplots that could easily be exorcised and the film would be none the worse for wear.

The ensemble in this movie is surprisingly huge, each of them playing a film-industry archetype which, I’m sure, each has encountered many times before, if not are themselves one of them.

There aren’t any bad performances in this, per se, but I do feel like Gillan is being asked to do a whooooole lot of heavy lifting here. I think she’s intended to be the glue holding the movie together, but I think that’s an almost impossible job with such a large cast of strong performers, and such an expansive script. If anything, I think Iris Apatow’s character could have filled the roll of “glue” more easily, allowing Gillan’s character a bit more room to breathe. I, too, long for the perfect Karen Gillan vehicle.

The thing is riddled with fun, surprising cameos.

The soundtrack is pretty bangin’ too. Iris Apatow’s TikTok to Doja Cat’s Boss Bitch is especially good, and Miley Cyrus’ cover of Heart of Glass is yet another example of just how good she is.

Anyway, despite the reviews, I think this is a fun movie to kill an evening on, RT ratings be damned. (Well...I guess we’ll see, anyway, seeing as how we still have 40 minutes to go)
posted by Thorzdad at 6:02 AM on April 3, 2022

Watched this last night because we needed something light and breezy after watching The House That Jack Built (DirtyOldTown, I’m surprised you haven’t done a FanFare post for that one yet). It was like 50% diverting, 30% amusing, and 20% funny. The actors were funnier than the bits—for instance, the part where Krystal Kris does a Tik Tok dance with a cliff beast isn’t funny, but watching Carol just go through the motions in the background because she’s pissed Krystal got all her lines is hilarious.
posted by ejs at 8:44 AM on April 3, 2022

Is this actually a pandemic movie? Like after the 2 week quarantine everything seems back to normal? Which is to say, I'm 18 minutes in and kinda bored now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2022

I'm a longtime fan, but has Judd Apatow ever made a movie that wasn't too long? […] I thought that was just, like, one of his things.

Funny enough, on last night's Saturday Night Live, they called out Apatow's The King of Staten Island for being too long at 2h 17m.
posted by ejs at 1:58 PM on April 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

The bit with Beck would have been a great post-credits scene. As was, it just made me realize Jesus Christ, we've been doing this for an hour and a half and we're not even in the last act yet, are we.
posted by Etrigan at 7:20 AM on April 4, 2022

Is this actually a pandemic movie? Like after the 2 week quarantine everything seems back to normal? Which is to say, I'm 18 minutes in and kinda bored now.

Except for some throwaway gags and jokes, this could have easily been a film set in a remote location. Contrast this with other films with pandemics like Zombieland where there's always an impending doom. The characters never seemed concerned or scared with the pandemic, if anything they spent large portions of the film trying to break out. I'm guessing the security bit, which wasn't funny and could have easily been dropped from the film, was in specific inside baseball sort of reference. Even people testing positive didn't elicit a response or believable concern. Despite being ostensibly trapped in gilded cage it wasn't even isolated. The soccer team sort of appeared out of nowhere and also had no bearing on the plot. Usually sex scenes are gratuitously thrown in for some nude scenes but it was all very PG, and it wouldn't have been really on brand for Apatow to throw in nudity like it was an 80s movie.

Really it was Last Year at Marienbad but with somehow less action.

Still waiting for Karen Gillan to get cast in a role she deserves. Still waiting

I want to like Karen Gillan but I'm beginning to wonder if she can carry a lead role. Pedro Pascal had less dialogue to work with and ate up every scene. Dakota Johnson basically broke the Internet showing her LA bungalow and I just don't see that in Karen Gillan.
posted by geoff. at 11:06 AM on April 4, 2022

I paused the movie just after Leslie Mann destroyed Mulder's laptop and saw I still had an hour to go. I realized I wasn't particularly engaged yet, and I didn't feel like plodding through another hour of this.
posted by miguelcervantes at 11:26 AM on April 4, 2022

I thought it was fun. Truly, it's more a collection of sketches than a cohesive movie (Tropic Thunder it isn't) but the actors were great. The smaller parts were particularly enjoyable: Samson Kayo (after *Our flag means death*), Maria Bakalova, Ross Lee, Harry Trevaldwyn, the two mocap guys. I did chuckle a bit at 1:33 when Dieter ODs and Keegan-Michael Key's character goes to find help by doing backflips in the background.
posted by elgilito at 1:03 AM on April 5, 2022

I sort of enjoyed this, on balance, but it’s so much too long. Every scene is too long. And it’s just too nice to its characters: it portrays them as a bit ridiculous, but it never sticks the knife in. One of the characters is a film star who has started a cult, and it never really does anything with that. And the stakes are weirdly low; not just that no-one seems worried about Covid, but that they seem to shrug off an actor having her hand shot off.

Like I say, I basically enjoyed it as a bit of fluff, but it seems like the premise has so much more potential. For example, I just started imagining a Veep-style version of the same premise, where all the characters would be grotesque egomaniacal monsters. But maybe that film would need to be made with a bit more distance, rather than filmed actually during the pandemic.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:03 AM on April 7, 2022

I was also kind of meh about it, apart from Harry Trevaldwyn, who is just lovely. His Instagram videos are fantastic.
posted by JJZByBffqU at 12:54 PM on April 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

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