What Just Happened

November 28th, 2008


What Just Happened

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Still of Robert De Niro and John Turturro in What Just HappenedStill of Michael Wincott in What Just HappenedKristen Stewart at event of What Just HappenedWhat Just HappenedStill of Robert De Niro in What Just HappenedWhat Just Happened

Two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer who's having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 5.8/10 (16,207 voted)

Director: Barry Levinson

Stars: Robert De Niro, John Turturro, Stanley Tucci

A week in the life of Ben, a powerful Hollywood producer, as he juggles negotiations with a studio head so that his newest picture can open at Cannes in two weeks, with a high-strung director who must make edits to the film, with an actor and his agent because the star has arrived on the set of a new picture with a full beard, and with his most recent ex-wife, Kelly, whom he discovers may have a lover. He also notices that his 17-year old daughter, from another marriage, has probably been crying. What's up? Can Ben keep it all together, get the green light from the studio to go to Cannes, move his new picture past the beard crisis, and maybe return to Kelly's good graces?

Writers: Art Linson, Art Linson

Robert De Niro - Ben
Sean Penn - Sean Penn
Catherine Keener - Lou Tarnow
Bruce Willis - Actor
John Turturro - Dick Bell
Robin Wright - Kelly (as Robin Wright Penn)
Stanley Tucci - Scott Solomon
Kristen Stewart - Zoe
Michael Wincott - Jeremy Brunell
Jason Kravits - Pollster (as Jason Kravitz)
Mark Ivanir - Johnny
Remy K. Selma - Jimmy (as Remy Selma)
Christopher Evan Welch - Studio Marketing Guy
Lily Rabe - Dawn
Sam Levinson - Carl

Taglines: Qui a dit que le cinéma était une grande famille? (Who said the movies were one big family?)


Official Website: Official site [Japan] | Official site [United States] |

Release Date: 28 November 2008

Filming Locations: California State University Northridge - 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $192,508 (USA) (19 October 2008) (36 Screens)

Gross: $3,291,679 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The subplot involving Bruce Willis refusing to shave his beard for a movie is based on a real life incident writer/producer Art Linson had with Alec Baldwin on the set of The Edge.

[first lines]
Ben: Vanity Fair named me as one of the 30 most powerful producers in the business. Power is an elusive term, but in Hollywood it's everything, I don't care what they say, you either have it, want it, or you're afraid of losing it. Where you stand at these things, or who you may be standing next to, may not seem like the most important thing, but it *really* matters.

User Review

Tired Tale In First Person Singular

Rating: 7/10

Art Linson's memoirs are a reminder of what a sad place Hollywood really is. We got closer and more original glimpses in films that go from Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard" to Altman's "The Player". Bernard Rose's "Ivansextc" also comes to mind not to mention Blake Edwards's SOB. Here the prototypes are well known even by people who have nothing to do with the film industry so one gets a bit impatient waiting for this fresh look from a prominent, still active, Hollywood producer. No such luck but there are other elements that make the film fun to watch if nothing else. To see Robert De Niro play "a character" that it's not in any way a semi parody of the films that made him famous is a welcome surprise in itself. Barry Levinson shows that he's as sharp as ever and the rhythms that he finds to tell the story keeps the tired tale not only alive but almost gripping.


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