This is one of the greatest “no laugh funny” films ever made. I can watch it over and over and never make a sound, and discover something fresh about it every time. I actually laughed out loud three or four times when I first saw it 12 and 1/2 years ago, but only at the odd stuff like (a) Orson Bean‘s scenes, (b) John Cusack slowly tongue-mouthing his way toward guessing Catherine Keener‘s name and (c) Mary Kay Place mis-hearing things.
Charlie Kaufman will never write anything like Being John Malkovich ever again. He was at a very particular place in the mid ’90s that led him to the sucking-mud-tunnel concept and being coughed out on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike and all that, but he’ll never, ever find that particular kind of inspiration ever again. He’s creatively moved on and become a hot-shot director, the culture has moved on, we’ve all moved on…nevermore.
The Criterion Bluray is out May 15th. Meaning that I’ll be begging Criterion to slip me a review copy before I leave for Cannes, etc.