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‘The Bubble’ Movie Is the Only COVID-related Media I’m Here For

4.5/5 movie stars

Pedro Pascal, Iris Apatow, and Leslie Mann screaming in The Bubble

Movies and television shows based on our life during COVID isn’t exactly what we want to watch these days. But there’s something about Judd Apatow’s The Bubble that really makes it hilarious to stop and think about where Hollywood’s priorities lay during the beginning months of 2020 and the pandemic. Inspired by the “bubble” used while filming Jurassic World: Dominion, the movie gives us a look inside what happens when you put a bunch of celebrities in a hotel and tell them that their only friends are each other.

The movie is a bit different from the fare we’ve come to know Apatow. It’s poking fun at Hollywood studio heads and creatives as a whole, rather than bringing us the small comedies centered on relationships/family life we expect from Apatow. This is wildly different in the best of ways.

The premise of The Bubble is that studios are worried about pandemic movie delays, and so their solution is to collect the cast of Cliff Beasts 6 together to have them film in a bubble. Centering the story on Carol Cobb’s (Karen Gillan) return to the franchise, each of our actors has a struggle that is being put off in response of the movie. There’s Dieter Bravo (Pedro Pascal) who isn’t getting help for his drug addiction and is pushing his own feelings for Anika (Maria Bakalova) away.

There are actors who can’t handle being in a bubble at all, like Guz Khan’s Howie or the up and down relationship between Dustin (David Duchovny) and Lauren (Leslie Mann). With a stellar cast, the movie explores not only the outrageousness of putting a bunch of celebrities in a hotel together, but the loneliness so many of us felt during the beginning of the pandemic (and even now). The movie is, at its core, making fun of what happened with movies during the time when we still had no idea what we were doing with vaccines and whether or not movies would return to theaters. It also serves to document this very strange time for posterity.

Mixed with a color commentary on how much studios care about money vs. the well-being of their performers and more, The Bubble is fun to watch and has some great moments that will stay with you.

It’s hilarious in a way that doesn’t make us think about how absolutely horrible any kind of COVID media makes us feel, which is nice! It’s more of a commentary on how we somehow thought that people needed movies to keep coming out, and the mad studio scramble therein

Apatow and co-writer Pam Brady do a great job of balancing everyone’s feelings during those first months with how absurd the world was for a while. The Bubble provides audiences with the first piece of media that makes laughing about the pandemic feel actually funny, and not just a constant painful reminder of the horrors we went through (and those that continue).

The Bubble is a must-watch, out on Netflix on April 1st, 2022.

(image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.