Scrolling through Netflix on Saturday night, desperate for entertainment, I stumbled upon a new movie — “The Bubble.” Looking at the cast list and the director, I was hopeful for this movie. The satirical plot follows a group of actors filming a movie during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are isolated from society and, as you can imagine, things quickly go wrong. Despite a few chuckles, I did not find myself enjoying the movie as much as I’ve enjoyed Judd Apatow’s work in the past.
With Apatow — director of American favorites such as “Superbad,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and “Step Brothers,” — I expected a comedy that would have me laughing the whole way through.
Unfortunately, I found myself rolling my eyes at the majority of the jokes.
As you can guess, most of the jokes were centered around COVID-19 and the lack of information the public had during 2020. Maybe the jokes hit a little too close to home, but I found myself becoming stressed every time someone made a joke about social distancing or not wearing a mask. But the poorly executed COVID-19 jokes were not the only thing that I thoroughly disliked about this movie.
Lightly highlighting the tone-deafness of the Hollywood stars detached from the real world, it didn’t feel like satire. During the pandemic, celebrities made tone-deaf public statements with messages like, “We’re all going through hard times, you’re not alone,” while relaxing on tropical vacations. Meanwhile, much of the working class was struggling with falling into poverty, being laid off and losing loved ones to the sickness that consumed everyone’s lives.
Instead of blatantly making fun of the Hollywood stars that were removed from reality, “The Bubble” seemed to do something else — only portraying how tone-deaf they were.
One of the running jokes was showcasing the detriment of having to isolate during COVID. Although this was an issue and had a large impact on many peoples’ mental health, it seems like this was a small issue that the pandemic introduced. With large amounts of money and resources, I felt that some of Apatow’s jokes were almost insensitive since they only portrayed the struggles of celebrities — attempting to come across as satirical.
Apatow is no stranger to nepotism, but this movie showcased both Leslie Mann — his wife — and their daughter, Iris Apatow as well. It makes me wonder if other actresses saw the script, refused to be a part of it, and Apatow had to bribe his family to star in “The Bubble.”
The only part of the movie that I somewhat enjoyed was Iris Apatow’s character, “Krystal Kris.” In the movie, Krystal is a TikTok star who’s not sure why she is starring in the film, given her only talent is dancing and having millions of fans. As the media website, “Polygon,” mentions in reviewing the movie, Krystal’s character is a “nod to Hollywood’s desperate attempts to keep up with a generation that doesn’t really care about Hollywood.”
Despite some comedic moments that were few and far between, the two hours that I sat through to finish this movie seemed like a waste of time. I found myself praying for the film to end soon so I could go back to being entertained. With the overdone COVID-19 jokes and the attempts at making fun of celebrities, I felt like I was reliving 2020, which was not a time I would willingly go back to.