Judd Apatow’s ‘The Bubble’ takes us back to the early days of the pandemic in his latest comedy for Netflix | new university
Judd Apatow’s latest creation, ‘The Bubble,’ is a Netflix Original movie released April 1, following a group of actors who have to quarantine or ‘bubble’ while filming their movie, ‘Cliff Beasts 6: The Battle for Everest”. The American comedian, director and producer has created countless comedies such as ‘The King of Staten Island’, ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ and ‘Trainwreck’.
Comedy fans had high hopes for Apatow’s latest film. The cast is packed with talent, including “The Mandalorian” actor Pedro Pascal as Dieter Bravo, as well as members of Atapow’s family, including his wife Leslie Mann as Lauren Van Chance and daughter Iris Apatow as Krystal Kris. With an extremely talented cast and director, this movie had a lot of hype around it. The film was particularly anticipated as it was a pandemic-era comedy with Apatow’s R-rated humor that was bound to bring laughs.
The film follows a group of cast and crew who are all part of a Jurassic Park-like action movie franchise called “Cliff Beasts,” set in 2020 amid the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. With the film industry already struggling to make new films, producer Gavin (Peter Serafinowicz) is determined to bring the cast together to shoot the sixth film in the franchise. The cast and crew are quarantined, or in this case, “bubbled”, together for more than 100 days in a hotel in the UK while filming. With COVID-19 and flu scares among the group, filming isn’t an easy process. Real-life COVID-19 related procedures such as nasal swabs, two-week quarantines, new hobbies, and anxiety caused by isolation are just some of the related aspects that are happening. During filming and isolation for so long, things quickly get complicated and despite killing flying CGI dinosaurs on screen, each character in the cast goes into their own spiral of off-screen mayhem. Desperate physical interaction, self-care isolation, TikTok dances and the idea of feeling like there’s “no escape” are just some of the themes you’ll find yourself on. to laugh or cringe in “The Bubble”.
The standout aspect of “The Bubble” is its satirical humor that revolves around pandemic activities and trends that took place during the 2020-21 global quarantine period. This includes the specific type of person who has turned the pandemic into a “time of growth and new revelation.” This kind of person could be seen during quarantine bragging about their accomplishments in productivity and inner peace. The film sheds light on the ‘forty-aged privileged’, who often fell into the category of influencers and celebrities enjoying their months of isolation in mansions and broadcasting their ‘tough times’ on social media. One quote that stood out referring to this in the movie was when one of the “Cliff Beasts” actresses complains and gets the harsh truth answer that “people don’t want to hear celebrities complaining about the hardness of their film sets. They have real problems.
As for people who have turned quarantine into “a time of improvement,” Sean Knox (Keegan-Michael Key) introduces his brand new lifestyle/motivational system, “Harmony Ignite,” which he has started during quarantine. When “Cliff Beasts” lead actress Carol Cobb (Karen Gillan) asks about Sean’s new religion, he jokingly assures her that it’s not a cult; rather, it is a system that brings wisdom and enlightenment. Towards the end of the movie, when all the chaos is induced for Carol, she again seeks Sean’s advice as he seems to have knowledge about motivation. He tries to quote cliched quotes before launching into a “I’m a complete impostor, I’m sorry. I didn’t write it, ghost writer Steve Hardy wrote the book…During the pandemic, I realized we were all the same, and I thought I was special, but we’re all the same.
Another pandemic trend has been the growing popularity of social media app TikTok. In the film, Krystal Kris is a TikTok star with 100 million followers. Her character can be compared to actual dancing TikTokers such as Charli D’Amelio or Addison Rae who gained millions of followers during the pandemic. Krystal was cast in “Cliff Beasts 6” to appeal to younger audiences, a marketing move many companies have used with TikTok stars to grow their brands during the pandemic. Krystal even responds to the question of auditioning for “Cliff Beasts” by saying, “To be honest, I think they stuck me in this movie because I have a lot of followers.”
Krystal participates in various TikTok dances throughout the film, such as filming a scene in “Cliff Beasts 6” where she teaches a CGI dinosaur to dance, as well as dancing with the entire cast to express their feelings. of confinement in the hotel. She is even ‘cancelled’ towards the end of the film when she escapes from the hotel to party in the UK ‘Cancel culture’ or being ‘cancelled’ is a contemporary term used to withdraw support from personalities public or celebrities who have done something that is not socially accepted. In real life, many influencers or TikTokkers have been canceled during the pandemic if seen in public during quarantine, sometimes permanently ruining their careers.
Along with social media and motivational quotes, the pandemic has resulted in isolation that has led to physical despair for many people. The film features steamy scenes of actors and actresses sneaking around to meet hotel staff and others. Carol even finds herself on a date with a footballer who is also staying at the hotel. Carol is afraid of “going through bubbles”, but the football player seductively explains that they would “make a new bubble”. In the real world, encounters like this weren’t completely uncommon during the pandemic.
Despite this film’s few funny scenes, relatable pandemic tendencies, and initial appeal to the average moviegoer, it didn’t perform as well as expected. “The Bubble” received 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an unfavorable consensus from critics: “Meandering and mostly unfunny, ‘The Bubble’ scrubs an all-star cast with hackneyed gags about showbiz and pandemic life.”
This film offers a hopeful and comedic take on situations and environments everyone can relate to since the early quarantine era. The film’s main flaw is the dialogue; there seem to be too many cringe-worthy comments that turn what could have been a laugh into something utterly insane. Even with a top-notch cast, the film’s potential is ruined by its unnecessary scripting and storylines. Either way, “The Bubble” will go down in history as the first pandemic comedy.
Moorea Pike is an Arts & Entertainment intern for the spring 2022 term. She can be reached at [email protected].