Director: Judd Apatow
Writers: Judd Apatow, Pam Brady
Stars: Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, Iris Apatow
Synopsis: A group of actors and actresses stuck inside a pandemic bubble at a hotel attempts to complete a film.
Pandemic content can be quite controversial and divisive. For some, media should be an escapist enterprise where a world without the pandemic shouldn’t exist, and life should continue on as normal. Personally, I’m in the camp where I’d love to see some pandemic content. I like seeing situations created from fiction in which we can see how life has changed, and the new world we have to live in. Unfortunately, most of the pandemic pieces have been either subpar, or downright bad. The Bubble fits into the latter category. Overly long and obscene, The Bubble never really justified its existence, despite a few funny moments.
The Bubble describes itself as a film about a production of a film during the COVID-19 pandemic, and focuses on the actor’s struggles as they’re faced with filming delays and the difficulty of quarantining with only each other on a film set. The film itself plays more like a situational comedy, with a confusing and meandering plot that barely strings the entire story together to somehow make it all make sense. It’s certainly different from conventional methods of storytelling, but it feels very appropriate to the comedy that it’s trying to piece together, similar to other comedies reminiscent of the mid to late 2000s.
I’m not exactly a fan of Judd Apatow, but I don’t really have anything against him either. When preparing for this movie, I thought the trailer looked funny enough, the cast was absolutely stacked, and I was particularly looking forward to performances from Maria Bakalova after her Oscar nomination for Borat 2. Fortunately, her performance alongside Pedro Pascal is one of the best of the film. Pascal’s aloof,sex and drug addicted character is probably one of the more grounded parts of this absurdity, and Bakalova’s strangely obsessed character is a fun chemistry act to watch together.
The rest of the cast also fully commits to the characters that they portray, but unfortunately I usually found most of their work to be rather annoying instead of any kind of comedic act. If any of your favorite actors are featured, or if you need something that will blow your mind with its craziness, The Bubble might be the perfect film for you. However, I’m not sure it will work for most audiences.
The film starts off well enough, but after 10 minutes it becomes hard to follow, and after about half an hour it becomes simply chaotic. About an hour into the film, it crossed the line from no return to just become straight up absurd, and in many moments grotesque with the comedy that it was attempting.The film took a turn in which most of the comedy had become bloody or body humor, with people getting ripped apart, body parts being blown off, or characters getting shot or mauled in some sort of unique way. I’m not trying to say that body humor can’t be funny, but it felt very forced into the film as if it was trying to come up with different or creative ways to be comedic, and there were multiple occasions that made me honestly uncomfortable, to the point where I either had to leave the room or look away. Additionally, I truly was not able to discern any kind of plot that this movie might have had, I’m not sure what this movie was trying to attempt, or why any of these bits might be seen as comedy.
If you want something to turn on in the background and give a light chuckle whenever you choose to tune in, this might be a good watch for you. However, I think this film would be at its peak with the enhancement of other substances, if you so choose to partake.