As usual I'm behind the times. I try to see movies after "the buzz" has subsided, maybe because I'm trying to be cool or unorthodox. But this usually means that, by the time I've seen the movie, I already know about the shocking "penis silhouette" scene and there are no more worthwhile surprises.
No penis silhouettes in "Adaptation" (surprise!) but certainly lots of self-aware, postmodern noodling, which I was prepared for by everybody who ever explained the concept to me (and there have been many). I don't know if those people went into the movie expecting a straightforward narrative, but I didn't and maybe that was a bad thing.
Hey, problem number two: I watched it episodically, over several days. It might flow a little better if you see it in one sitting.
But rather than add to all the dross and analysis that's already been done (and no doubt is done every four months in every film course), let me just say that Nicholas Cage is sweet. I can't NOT like Nicholas Cage. It all goes back to seeing him in "Birdy" when I was twelve. He was so desperate and thoughtful and kind, yet still a big lunkhead. He was the sort of best friend I wished I had...the kind of friend who'd talk me out of the withdrawn, comatose state I expected to be in at any moment.
So any time Nicholas Cage is in a movie, I automatically sympathise with him. Seeing him play TWO characters in "Adaptation" gave me a particularly warm and happy feeling. The rest of the film could have just been a bunch of soul-searching orchid hunting with a surprise ending and I still wold have liked it.
It's been a benefit for another reason too: it inspired me to revisit Spike Jonez's "Praise You" video, which I have a compulsive urge to watch over and over again: