78 of 91 people found the following review helpful
A twisted triumph!,
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"Adaptation" is not a film for viewers who gravitate toward conventional movies. Charlie Kaufman (Nicholos Cage) is a sweating, overweight screenwriter prone to voice-overs and fantasy. Given the coveted job of writing an adaptation of Susan Orlean's THE ORCHID THIEF, he struggles mightily with his art and the downturn of his personal life, which is also desperately in need of adaptation. When his twin brother Donald (also Cage), the archetypical mooch, decides on a whim that he, too, will become a screenwriter, Charlie is pushed to the edge. The movie begins to twist on itself, showing scenes from the story of "The Orchid Thief", Charlie's struggle with it, and, most comically, Charlie and Donald's head-banging exchanges about writing screenplays. It soon becomes evident that we are watching the finished screenplay of Charlie's (and Donald's) adaptations, with all its quirks and dramatic license.
Cage makes the real screenwriter Charlie Kaufman hilariously pathetic, and argues with his wide-eyed (and thinner) alter ego with equally comedic success. Meryl Streep is great in the role of Susan Orlean, especially as she takes her character from Charlie's to Donald's genre. Chris Cooper is incredible as LaRoche, the charming but strange orchid thief himself; I had to keep reminding myself that he was an actor and not the real-life Laroche himself.
Viewers who enjoy the type of weird ride that the screenwriter/director combo of Kaufman and Jonze ("Being John Malkovich") provide will find it hilariously clever; others will be left shaking their heads. If you like films by the Coen brothers such as "Fargo" and "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", you'll probably appreciate the humor and ambition of this film.