If you've seen 'Being John Malkovich', then you already know that Charlie Kaufman's brain is a labyrinth of ideas. Seeing Adaptation, it becomes clear that what was once a labyrinth is now the unknown itself, a mind that is a void for any idea.
The film itself is beautifully self-aware from the mentions of Robert McKee's 'Story' to the denouement which plays out as if it is written by Donald Kaufman, which the films suggest it is (kind of.)
Some may argue the film is overly indulgent, to which I would partly agree. Writing a screenplay about yourself and about the film itself, as well as the process, is an inherently indulgent thing to do. But, this doesn't mean it isn't entertaining. Due to Spike Jonze's wonderful direction, Adaptation proves to be heartwarming, funny but, for the creative, very relatable.
Cage is wonderful in both roles but particularly shines as Charlie himself. Through Cage's performance, we truly get to witness the roller-coaster that is Kaufman's brain. Chris Cooper, winning an Oscar for his role, is the perfect dramatized character to Cage's self-aware naturalism while Streep proves again that her acting is timeless.
What Adaptation has to say about the creative in the film world. Between the battle of formulaic structure and boundless ideas, between realism and surrealism, between conflict and love, it manages to remain entertaining when it should be extremely depressing. Because, though the ending we get is thoroughly entertaining, I believe that it isn't Kaufman's ending but Douglas's. But that doesn't really matter because this film is, after all, about adapting.