[Critique] “The Bubble”: being too much in your bubble

like the end of The bubble (The Bubble), a satire on the wonderful world of cinema, one of the characters declares: “If your movie sucks, it can be fine, as long as it has a good ending. Without being in a fecal plane, far from it, the most recent comedy of one of the American specialists in the genre, Judd Apatow, has difficulty in applying this maxim.

The film is simply… very ordinary and arouses more indifference than laughter.

Camped in England The bubble recounts the nightmarish filming, in full confinement due to the pandemic, of a Hollywood blockbuster inspired by both the saga Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park) than from the Marvel universe. The title refers to the “bubble” in which the film crew is confined, a large country mansion turned hotel located not far from the studio where the film is shot, the sixth in an increasingly far-fetched series.

The plot is tied primarily to the point of view of Carol (Karen Gillan, efficient), an actress who refused to act in the previous play, but was forced to return due to lack of success elsewhere. Also in the credits: a sex-addicted actor, a fledgling TikTok star actress, an actor who just posted a best seller of personal growth, two exes who love and hate each other to the core of the day, a director who thinks he’s the next Steven Soderbergh, a duplicitous producer, and many “normal” peripheral characters isolated with these chronic narcissists.

With such a context, a cast as solid as it is varied, and knowing that Hollywood is capable of making fun of itself wonderfully when it decides to look at itself in a magnifying mirror, there was a lot to laugh about. Especially since Judd Apatow co-wrote the script with Pam Brady, a collaborator on South Park. Unfortunately, the film never really gets off the ground: it has no momentum.

In reality, we witness a succession of episodes poorly assembled in a disjointed story that narrates the descent into the hell of production and the growing revolt of the performers.

a borrowed side

Like the film in the film, without the parallel playing in its favor, The bubble it quickly becomes chaotic. Some jokes sometimes take on a “privileged” dimension; It is not that it is difficult for us to understand them, but rather to grasp their comic value. As if the writers were also, yes, in their bubble.

There are some good jokes, especially the Zoom-like exchanges between a sociopathic studio manager (Kate McKinnon, hilarious) and the increasingly desperate producer, but other jokes, like the fact that these blockbusters are now almost exclusively filmed in front of a huge green garden. screens, repeat until worn out.

In fact, it often seems that Judd Apatow is out of his humorous element. Perhaps the British context has something to do with it, but it seems that the director of The 40 year old virgin (40 years old and still a virgin), derailed train (hopeless case) Y The King of Staten Island tried in vain to make an Armando Iannucci-style satire, behind the brilliant in the loop Y Stalin’s death (Stalin’s death), replacing the political class with the film industry.

Whence, without a doubt, that borrowed side for which Apatow’s cinema is familiar. We feel at times the nascent ambition of a theme, but the film is more messy than deep.

Faced with such an observation, one wonders if it would not have been better for The bubble being crap, some movies are so bad they’re good. At the risk of “going crazy” with the filmmaker’s admirers, we can’t even say that The bubble got to that level.

The Bubble (VF for The Bubble)


Satirical comedy by Judd Apatow. With Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, David Duchovny, Pedro Pascal, Peter Serafinowicz, Fred Armisen. United States, 2022, 126 minutes. on Netflix.

to see on video

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