Hollywood Keeps Making The Same Boring Movie About Hollywood

Hollywood is obsessed with making movies about how hard it is to work in the movie industry, which is only of interest to itself.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

hollywood diversity movies in 2022

“Write what you know” is a truism in creative writing classes around the world, and one that Hollywood seems to have collectively taken to heart. Though the output of Tinseltown is obviously a combination of different studios (from the big ones like Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery to tiny indies), filmmakers, writers, crews, craft service teams, and even executives, history shows us that show business loves nothing more than making movies about show business. The main problem? It’s a very boring movie, because it only really speaks to the people making it.


We could go back nearly a century for examples, but, for the sake of immediacy, let’s just bring up Fool’s Paradise, the long-delayed directorial debut from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Charlie Day. The star-studded movie will feature an enormous cast of comedic ringers like Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman, gorgeous starlets like Kate Beckinsale, and dramatic heavyweights like John Malkovich and Ray Liotta (in one of his final roles). So what’s it about?

After years of working in show business, Charlie Day can apparently think of nothing more interesting than working in show business. Even though he’s made nearly two hundred episodes of It’s Always Sunny, when it comes to making a movie, it just has to be about making movies. Here’s the thing, though, that’s not a very interesting topic except for the people who are already obsessed with the movie industry, which naturally self-selects to people who are already in it.

But because they are the people in Hollywood making these movies, they get to choose the subject matter that has always fascinated them. That’s why we have gotten four different versions of A Star is Born (the most recent winning Lady Gaga an Academy Award) and why director Quentin Tarantino has decided he doesn’t have any more stories appropriate for film except movies actually about movies.

leonardo dicaprio brad pitt once upon a time in hollywood

It is probably fair to say that Hollywood is well-known as a place largely built on outsize dreams and even larger egos, so it is not all that surprising that it loves to tell stories about itself. Critically acclaimed auteurs like the Coen Brothers (Barton Fink) and David Fincher (Mank) love to make movies about the movie industry as much as sitcom stars, but why is it always about how working in Hollywood is really tough and stressful?

And to be fair, working in Hollywood probably is very difficult, although the same could be said for virtually every industry that exists. That doesn’t mean that we should all be subjected to movies about how terrible and/or awesome it is to work in each of them for decades.

babylon damien chazelle

There is no better case study to indicate that only Hollywood is interested in the movies it makes about itself than last year’s Babylon, the newest film by writer-director Damien Chazelle. Despite starring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt, two of the biggest names in the industry, the absurdly long, questionably historically accurate comedy-drama, the movie was an enormous box office bomb, not even making back its $80 million production budget (let alone marketing). 

However, despite being ignored by audiences and tepidly received by critics (currently holding 56 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), the industry itself saw fit to nominate Babylon for a whole slew of awards, including three Oscars. There could be no better sign that Hollywood loves to pat itself on the back than that.