I choose movies and television shows largely based on the cast. I don't read enough social media or review websites to get caught up in hype very often (still have only seen one episode of Wheel of Time, and two episodes of Arcane). On the other hand, I use my streaming services frequently and and see a lot of previews when I log into them.
So, when I saw the preview for Don't Look Up, I was thrilled by the stars, but a little nervous. I will watch anything with J-Law, and almost anything with Leo, but gosh darn it if I find Mr. Hill's sense of humor to not be something I enjoy. I honestly tend not to enjoy stupid humor; the only two Jim Carey movies I enjoyed were Liar, Liar and Eternal Sunshine, and you can count the amount of time I'd willingly watch Adam Sandler with a sand timer. I just don't enjoy that style of humor, and find Mr. Hill to be the continuation of those two. For some people that's awesome, and I'm okay living in a world where not everything is for me. But this, this movie, was absolutely for me. Let's start with the extreme star power of this cast. Beyond Leo, J-Law, and Jonah we have Meryl Streep (as POTUS), Mark Rylance as a deluded tech CEO, Cate Blanchett (who is nearly unrecognizable) as a more intelligent than she seems reporter, and Ariana Grande, who plays a hilarious caricature of herself (I must admit, I'm finally becoming an Ariana fan, The Voice has helped me move me that way),
Don't Look Up is an absurdist comedy about mass denial of basic facts, and while it's certainly made as satire, what it really comes across as is a cautionary tale about what happens when a nation (and seemingly the world) collectively decides that the truth is less important than personal and/or political power. Adam McKay (who produced, directed, and wrote this show) has made mockery of le président orange in other mediums before this, and continues to make a mockery of that inner circle, both through Streep and through Hill, who plays this weird conflagration of Drumpfy children. (There's a line in this show about his 'mother' that was cringe-worthy and hilarious, because we might have heard a twice-impeached Florida retiree say something similar about his own daughter.) This cautionary tale could hit a little too closely to home for some, and I think it's fair to warn people of this. This is an allegorical tale of how one terrible administration handled COVID-19, and how masses of people decided not to believe a truth they could see. It's also about how some people will lie, cheat, and manipulate the world in order to personally profit from other people. It's about how some people are easily manipulated, and told not to trust what they can see.
Finally, it's about the denial of science. Two brilliant scientists make a potentially devastating discovery. They follow the proper steps and tell people about this discovery with plenty of time for people in power change the course of human history, to save the planet. They are mocked, they are threatened, they are used as political pawns. They are told that the world doesn't deserve the truth, and they are used to advance the political agenda of people who don't want other to know the truth. Don't Look Up isn't just timely, it's mostly smartly written (it can get a little complicated, and the jokes don't always stick). It features a star-studded cast of heavy hitters, and Adam McKay got their best from every one of them, even those in bit parts like Ron Perlman (seriously hilarious, and scary, here). If you're denying that COVID-19 is real, or that vaccines work, then you may feel slightly attacked here. If you think the Democrats created COVID-19 to win elections, you may feel slightly attacked here. Or you may not be smart enough to understand satire...