Netflix’s Clunky Covid Comedy ‘The Bubble’ Bursts with Laughs

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer

Plot: A group of actors and actresses stuck inside a pandemic bubble at a hotel attempts to complete a film.

Review: So after doing a bit of legwork on Judd Apatow’s The Bubble to figure out what inspired this zany premise, I found out it’s actually, kind of, VERY loosely based on the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that took place during the shooting of Jurassic World: Dominion. Long story short, when Covid caused Hollywood to shut down production of their films the studio heads behind JWD made the decision to move the cast to England, put them up in a hotel (for them alone) and with hand sanitizer stations everywhere and extremely strict protocols the question was asked “Should we REALLY be doing all this for a movie?!” Of course the answer from the studio was “Yes” because “Money”. This insanity was the inspiration for The Bubble.

I see Dr Manhattan is walking around sans pants again. Photo courtesy Laura Radford, Netflix

Packed to the brim with comedic talent, we have a cast of actors playing uh, a cast of actors from a franchise called Cliff Beasts. Coming together to shoot the sixth installment we have: Carol (Karen Gillan of Doctor Who, MCU) who basically hates the franchise and wants out; Dustin (Mr X-Files David Duchovny) who thinks of himself as a writer and constantly tries to re-write the script; Lauren (Leslie Mann of The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Knocked Up) Dustin’s ex-wife; Sean (Keegan-Michael Key of Key and Peele fame) who pulls a Gwyneth Paltrow by starting his own lifestyle brand; Howie (the always good for a laugh Guz Khan), Dieter (Pedro Pascal of Narcos, The Mandalorian) who just wants to have sex with everyone, and even Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow’s real-life daughter Iris plays a TikTok star who’s in the movie to pull in younger audiences. This is just the tip of the iceberg as the talented cast here is a large one, yet Apatow does a solid job of giving each and every one of them enough screen time to do their thing, which probably explains why this movie is two hours long when the story feels like it only warranted one and a half.

This movie is at its best when the cast is allowed to improvise, or at least that’s how I felt about it in a nutshell. Because the focus is not so much on the film they’re making, but on the toll being locked down is taking on what amounts to a group of spoiled kids in adult form. The moments that I found hilarious were the ones that took jabs at how ridiculous it would be to feel sympathy for them (even when the studio sends a security team to basically keep them imprisoned) when the rest of the world had people losing their jobs and literally dying. Still, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the ridiculousness on display and while I think The Bubble feels more like a bunch of sketches than a complete movie, I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy those sketches. The film also does a solid job of bringing back (for better or worse) the memories of those early days of the pandemic, when everyone’s sense of safety was set to ten. Scenes of them self-isolating and spraying everything with Lysol was funny in the way “we can relate” is funny.

Hold on. I need to Tweet this. Photo courtesy Laura Radford, Netflix

Besides that though I can’t help but look at the whole thing as clunky and unnecessarily long. The performances are all memorable to varying degrees but none of this truly feels like a proper film, just skits that work and sub-plots that don’t. You can check it out for yourself but I would be surprised if most viewers don’t just give up halfway through.

Sommer’s Score: 6 out of 10

And you can check out more Netflix comedy content below:


2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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