The Bubble [Grade: 73.54%]

Director: Judd Apatow

Story By: Judd Apatow & Pam Brady

Cast: Karen Gillan, Leslie Mann, Iris Apatow, Pedro Pascal, Keegan-Michael Key, David Duchovny, Fred Armisen, Guz Khan, Vir Das, Maria Bakalova, Harry Trevaldwyn, Samson Kayo, Peter Serafinowicz, & Kate McKinnon

* * *

This was rough to get through…not because it was “bad,” but because it seemed forced and too obviously random.   

* * *

Theme & Story: A

Pacing: A

Character: C

* * *

Entertainment Factors

General Public: Don’t Watch

Film Enthusiasts: Don’t Watch

Experience Seekers (via Visuals & Score): Don’t Watch

Comedy Satire Film Fans: Interesting Enough

* * *


1. The cast of a franchise are asked to come together to an isolated, quarantine-proof location during the heigh of the pandemic, and film its 6th installment…until things suddenly take an odd hostage-like turn. 

This is “The Bubble” 

Thematically, this film attempts to tackle a topic/question that is actually pretty relevant in our current climate when it comes to celebrities—The intersection of celebrity and personhood. To what extent are celebrities people too? Is this even a question/topic to ask? 

I found the thematic followthrough to be decent across all acts. There’s the moment between Carol and her agent addressing her most recent, problematic film; the expectations laid out to the hotel staff about how to interact with “celebrities,” and the core conflict for all the characters in regards to their well being being sacrificed for Hollywood means. 

The story was also pretty solid to me. Act One quickly lays the foundation for the story, bringing our characters together for the main purpose, and giving me an opportunity to also see what this franchise is all about vs leaving it to my imagination. 

Acts Two and Three is where things with the story and theme started to really connect for me—seeing each character’s conflict intersect with the demands of Hollywood, and then watching them respond in an upheaval. Now…the comedic aspect of everything across the acts was forced, but the messaging and purpose was clear to me. 🤷🏾‍♂️👍🏾 

2. The funniest moment in the entire film for me was Act 3 with the helicopter. 😂

3. The visual effects were solid. 👍🏾

4. The adopted son… so random. So forced. 🙄🤦🏾‍♂️

5. The Bubble has a runtime of close to 116 minutes, and I honestly didn’t “feel it.” Nothing felt like it was dragging or too rushed, story wise, which was pretty surprising. 👍🏾

6. Not the “penises.”🫢😅

7. Harry Trevaldwyn was a subtle joy. Outside of the helicopter moment, he made me “chuckle’ a few times. 👍🏾

8. The dance sequences were cute. 👍🏾

9. One thing I will praise in regards to the characters is the overall commitment and delivery of each individual. I mean, just truly solid acting and ownership from every single person. 

The issue for me is I felt the characters were more committed to the character lives of the story vs being more intentionally written and utilized as a vessel for the message. For me, it came off as an inside joke for celebrities, and not something that all people can at least find reason to care about FOR celebrities. 🥴

10. To piggyback off point 8, I also appreciated the statement Krystal made about essentially being a mediocre TikTok success…mainly because it came from a white context. 👍🏾

* * *

Overall #TheBubble gives 2000’s The Surreal Life – meets Licorice Pizza – meets Life – meets Get Out – meets Act 2 of the Hunger Games

Though the film checks off many things on my rubric resulting in a decent grade, I honestly felt like I was watching an extended SNL skit/large scale improv feature serving as the “graduation show” for an improv class where everyone was good at picking up from one another, but lacked comedic timing and effortless entertainment. This is why I don’t see it as worth anyone’s time to watch—it’s like a beautifully cooked and plated dish that’s bland as hell.

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