The movie is pretty straight forward until about an hour into it when suddenly things take an unexpected turn. Barton tries to recover from this cataclysmic event, but it’s not until he embraces his friend Charlie’s story that things start flowing for him.
There is some strange symbolism in this film, and again I feel inadequate for not being able to decipher all of it. There’s a certain painting that sparks Barton’s fancy—a girl sitting at the beach that he stares at for hours while he’s trying to write his script, but I’m not sure what it means.
Regardless of whether you understand the subtle nuances of the film, it is an enjoyable movie. The characters are likeable, even the crazy Hollywood executive and Barton’s drunken writer friend. The story sounds dull but is portrayed in that classic Coen brothers style where everything seems normal at first, but just slightly off kilter on closer inspection (example: the elevator operator who is as mechanical as a modern button based elevator, or the bellhop who inexplicably comes out of a hole in the floor when the hotel bell is rung). This gives the movie an interesting edge that drives the story forward and kept my interest going. I would definitely recommend this movie—it is wonderful and weird.