Netflix’s “The Bubble” was supposed to be a meta-comedy with lots of laughs, but it seems to have fallen flat, leaving many wondering if the movie was anything more than a poor April Fool’s joke.
Much like “Joe v. Peacock’s Carol” failed to match the success of its predecessor “Tiger King,” it seems the pandemic jokes just aren’t so funny as people look to move on from the days of wearing mask and social distancing.
What is “The Bubble” about?
Netflix’s “The Bubble” is a meta-comedy that tries to poke fun at actors, the movie industry, and TikTok all in one fell swoop. It features actors filming the sixth film in the fictional “Cliff Beasts” franchise going through lockdown together in a luxury hotel. The official synopsis reads: “Sneaking out. Snagging. Melting. The cast and crew of a hit action franchise attempt to shoot a sequel while quarantined in a fancy hotel.
The film was directed, written and produced by Judd Apatow. Pam Brady also served as co-writer. The film has an R rating for violence, drug use (there are a lot of them), sexual content, and language throughout.
New Daisy Ridley content at the new Netflix movie “La Bulle” 🥰❤️ pic.twitter.com/59aeqiEMlR
— Black Jedi Lady (@JedyLady) April 1, 2022
The film stars Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Armisen, Iris Apatow, David Duchovny and numerous celebrity appearances from Daisy Ridley, “X-Men” James McAvoy and more.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, “The Bubble” earned a 24% critics’ rating and a 39% Audience Score the morning after its April Fool’s Day release. According to most critics, the joke was on most viewers expecting a laugh.
Pop Critics Netflix’s ‘The Bubble’: ‘Too Long and Excruciatingly Unfunny’
We just watched the 122-minute long trailer for the upcoming movie “Beasts of the Bubble: A Documentary by Scott Dawson.” We honestly hate it when trailers reveal the whole movie. 😉 46/100 #The bubble #too long #too slow pic.twitter.com/w8mLMjL19h
— Pop Culture Reviews with Fisher & Cruise (@fishercruise) April 2, 2022
Critics weren’t shy about showing their disdain for Netflix’s new comedy.
Polygon’s Katie Rife said the film “is made up mostly of long, excruciating sequences where everyone is trying really hard and producing no laughs, like people trying to start a fire by rubbing two wet sticks together.”
Adam White of UK’s Independent wrote: “There are occasional flashes of barbed, satirical wit here. In general, however, The Bubble feels like a loose float of ideas, to which a large cast of funny and reliable actors have been tasked with adding color. White gave the film 2 out of 5 stars.
Ty Burr of Ty Burr’s Watchlist called it a “blunderbuss parody and over two hours.” You were warned.” Burr gave the film 1.5 out of 4 stars.
The most unrealistic thing about The Bubble is that everyone turns down Pedro Pascal. pic.twitter.com/8DNVHAVkHm
— Shannon 🪐 (@billthader) April 1, 2022
David Ehrlich of indieWire wrote: “Released more than two years after a global crisis that continues to surprise us with fun new twists every time we get cocky, The Bubble crystallizes the unique pain of watching a terribly dated satire on the same crisis you still trying to survive. He gave the film a D+ score.
Ryan Gilbey of New Statesman wrote, “If The Bubble feels like old titles repackaged like breaking news, maybe it’s because we’ve seen something very similar before in the same corner of Hollywood. “
Linda Marric of The Jewish Chronicle called it “too long and excruciatingly unfunny”. Marric gave the film 2 out of 5 stars.
Did all the critics hate “The Bubble”?
#Movie #Netflix ‘The Bubble’ Review: Judd Apatow’s COVID Comedy Is a Unfunny Waste of Time and Talent: Somewhere between the prank teaser for Cliff Beasts 6 and a really enjoyable trailer, I… https://t .co/bhsK6QtJqg | https://t.co/9AaTTqXITl | https://t.co/eKi4cP5ni2 pic.twitter.com/tyHm2nQuIR
— eStream Studios (@eStream_Studios) April 2, 2022
There were several positive reviews on “The Bubble” but not many.
Sheila O’Malley of RogerEbert.com wrote, “The film is best in its embrace of chance, its moments when the talented and funny actors have fun with each other, responding to each other’s eccentricities.” O’Malley gave the film 3 out of 4 stars.
Leila Latin of Little White Lies wrote, “An overabundance of celebrity cameos and a few inconsistencies aside, The Bubble succeeds because it’s so much fun.” Latif gave the film 3 out of 5 stars.
Leslie Felperin of the Financial Times said the film is “funnier and smarter than you might expect” and gave the film 3 out of 5 stars.
Save this moment from La Bulle for the inevitable day when Pedro Pascal wins his first Oscar. pic.twitter.com/SzahlrMOhq
—Netflix (@netflix) April 1, 2022
Still, most critics questioned the film’s raison d’être.
Adam Graham of Detroit News wrote, “It’s understandable that Apatow, faced with the shutdown of his industry, wanted to do something during his sudden shutdown. But ‘The Bubble’ already feels like an artifact of an era we’d rather forget. Graham gave the film a D score.
Bill Goddykoontz of the Arizona Republic wrote, “Apatow knows comedy, and his intentions here are good. It’s just the movie that isn’t. He gave the film 2 out of 5 stars.
With the movie failing to impress critics and audiences alike, it seems like it might be time to close the door on pandemic comedies for good.