6 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Not for me,
This review is from: Adaptation [DVD]  (DVD)
I saw this film because I was so enchanted with Chris Cooper's wonderful performance in "Seabiscuit." He is good here as well, but the movie itself....well, it's just not for me.
"Adaptation" stars Nicolas Cage as twins Charlie and Donald Kaufman. Neurotic Charlie's job is to adapt the book "The Orchid Thief" by Susan (Meryl Streep) Orlean for the screen. He apparently has a very loose grasp of reality to start with, and, faced with monumental frustration, begins to put himself into the screenplay, and has the real characters doing fictitious things, including attempted murder (of him!) Toothless Chris Cooper plays John, the eccentric orchid hunter, who combs Florida's swamps for the elusive "moth" orchid and who, in Charlie's mind, falls in love with Susan.
It was never clear to me what was real and what was a figment of Charlie's mind. Even the existence of brother Donald is questionable at times. The film's story (it couldn't be called a "plot") is completely surrealistic. Add to this the fact that Charlie and Donald Kaufman actually wrote the screenplay for "Adaptation," and that Susan Orlean really wrote a book called "The Orchid Thief" about a real man named John, and I was left confused and repelled by the characters and their actions. It is impossible to know what is real and what is fantasy, and none of the characters (especially the protagonist, Charlie) mattered to me.
Nicolas Cage is just okay as the brothers; he was repulsive and unbelievable. Streep is always flawless, but this script has her playing an unsympathetic, unlikeable woman I didn't care about at all. Oscar winner Chris Cooper, the reason I watched the film, showed great range as an actor, and certainly deserves points for losing several teeth for this part. His character was slightly sympathetic but mostly disgusting.
I recommend this film to those who like off-beat, avant-guard film-making; there is nothing traditional or familiar here. It was not to my liking, but I'm sure there are many who would enjoy this energetic romp into chaos.