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Adaptation 2002 R CC

From the creator of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH comes a very original comedy about a screenwriter struggling to adapt a best-selling book about orchid thieves into a movie. Things get really crazy when he writes himself into the screenplay.

Starring:
Nicolas Cage, Nancy Lenehan
Runtime:
1 hour, 54 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Spike Jonze
Starring Nicolas Cage, Nancy Lenehan
Supporting actors Tilda Swinton, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 25, 2002
Spike Jonze's new movie, "Adaptation," is a funny and entertaining look at insecure screenwriters, Hollywood hokum, and the lengths to which people will go to get what they want.
Nicholas Cage is terrific in a dual role. He is Charlie Kaufman, a real-life screenwriter who has been commissioned to write the movie script for Susan Orlean's acclaimed novel, "The Orchid Thief." Unfortunately, Charlie has a monumental case of writer's block. He is also an insecure, nerdy guy who has trouble connecting with women and who is ashamed of his unkempt appearance. He is chubby and he wears a flannel shirt with the tails hanging out throughout much of the film. Cage also plays Charlie's twin brother, Donald, who is confidently writing a screenplay of his own. Donald's screenplay is formulaic and derivative, but he manages to sell it for a bundle. In addition, Donald has no trouble getting a beautiful woman to be his girlfriend.
The conceit of "Adaptation" is that Charlie proceeds to write a screenplay about his inability to write a screenplay. There are hilarious vignettes with the wonderful Meryl Streep, who plays the writer, Susan Orlean, as a repressed journalist who is depressed because of a lack of passion in her life. Chris Cooper almost steals the movie as the eponymous orchid thief, a toothless, lowdown individual who somehow connects with Orlean.
Jonze and Kaufman are making several statements here. They are saying that Hollywood is a place where desperate people will do anything to succeed, include writing formulaic potboilers. The way to survive is to adapt, to become whatever the public wants at the moment. You need to "get with the program" in order to succeed in Hollywood and in life.
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Format: Paperback
"Adaptation" is one of the most creative and original scripts that I have read in a long time. I actually bought this before seeing the film, which told me that I had a lot of faith in the fact that the film would be more than extraordinary. I was right and I read the script the day after seeing the movie.
Charlie Kaufman wants to adapt Susan Orlean's "The Orchid Thief" into a movie script. He wants to create something that is true to the book and doesn't have to include numerous chase scenes, violence, sex, drugs, or nudity to have it appeal to the public. The only problem is that Kaufman is having trouble in trying to adapt it and comes across a major case of writer's block. He ends up writing himself into the script and it turns into a screenplay that is about him trying to adapt the book into a movie. That is only part of this off-the-wall and unpredictable script.
The screenplay is written by Charlie Kaufman; the man who wrote "Being John Malkovitch." The dialogue and characters are really excellent. There are numerous parts that you'll want to re-read over and over again. You actually find yourself repeating some of the lines because once they get into your head, they stay in there for a long time. This is really something you should consider purchasing if you loved the film. As subtle and off-beat the film is, you miss certain things and pick up on them later after further evaluation.
The screenplay also includes a foreword by Susan Orlean, a critical commentary by Robert McKee, and an interview with Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze. They all really give you an interesting look into the film. There are also b&w photos from the movie as well.
"Adaptation" is a fantastic script that I enjoyed reading, and even read it for a second and third time. If you love a good screenplay and loved the movie, this is a worthy purchase to make.
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Format: Paperback
Adaptation by Charlie Kaufman (film dir. by Spike Jonze) is, like the name might imply, about adaptation. Many critics of this script complain that it fails to be truthful to Suzanne Orlean's novel "The Orchid Thief," but I disagree. The first point to make I've already said: it's about adapting a book. There are plenty of references to the orchid thief, and this script is inextricably linked with the book, but the novel, as Kaufman says in the movie "is a beautiful book about flowers... I just want to make a movie about flowers" (not an actual quote, but it's kinda' close to what he says throughout). The script constantly praises the novel, but the movie is really about what it takes to write a screenplay, and is therefore almost more of a creative work than an actual adaptation.

As such, the screenplay is excellent. It is witty, careful, and through many twists and turns, becomes the very item that it claims, maybe even strives, to not be: a product of hollywood. What makes this movie more than a car-chase-sex-scene-drugs-love-insert-archetypical-theme-here kinda' movie is the fact that Kaufman's writing is brilliant. He tastefully inserts every single hollywood cliche from theme song to personal struggle into the film in a way that won't make you puke. Instead of being a lame rehash, adaptation leaves the viewer wondering what it really was that just took place. The story is well-paced, characters are stongly developed, and plot twists don't feel thrown in at the last moment: you feel that this could honestly happen, at least most of the time. While it strays significantly from the orchid thief, the script stands well on its own two legs, slinking through the plot in a way that will grab you before you even realize it--then turns you on your head. Both the book and script are great literary works, but, even with their strong kinship, it's best to view them separately, rather than attack the latter for it's liberal use of the former.
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