critical beardities: who cares’ what just happened

What Just Happened is really not worth talking about: you thrill to the tribulations of a rich Hollywood producer (Robert De Niro in a rare non-embarrassing modern role) with two ex-wives and a director insistent on a profoundly negative cut of film X while meanwhile film Y is about to shoot and its star is proving problematic in his own way. This star, this problem, is what made this film worth it, to a point.

The star is Bruce Willis, playing himself.

The problem is his beard.

oh yes


This beard is considered a major obstacle to production, and the movie spends a nice chunk of time on heated beard-exchanges. How do you feel about being told to shave, Bruce?

I’m sorry, Bruce.

Bruce is stubborn. Bruce spent six months growing that beast. Bruce feels it is a character choice. Bruce rages, though largely off screen, firing his manager when the manager dares make anti-beard demands of him. Bruce expresses the plight of the modern, bearded man faced with unreasonable anti-beard pressures in his workplace, and I hoped he would stick to his beardguns. But when threatened with picture shut-down and lawsuits, he eventually capitulates. The will to beard does not triumph.

What Just Happened? One of western civilization’s great beard tragedies.


~ by ironcupshrug on 12/30/2009.

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