Like Bowfinger, this finds its writer/director-star (Brooks) searching his home turf for inspiration: he's a Hollywood writer stumped by a system that presents him with a humanitarian award of an evening, and the chop next morning; he's 'lost his edge' overnight. Counsel with a friend (Bridges) reveals a potential panacea in the form of Sarah (Stone), daughter of Zeus, and verily a Muse, freelancing in Tinseltown. Excitement gets the better of his frugal instincts and, after initial misunderstandings between writer, wife (MacDowell) and new girl, they get down to work. Hollywood-on-Hollywood satires might be two a nickel these days, but it's hard to think of anyone who'd slip in the knife so inconspicuously as Brooks. His comedy is gentle, occasionally sentimental, but never self-indulgent, and comes with a kick: what's madder than an entire industry built on the caprices of creative inspiration? The main joke, played wonderfully deadpan, extends to cameos from the likes of Cameron, Reiner and Scorsese, but it's the easy precision of Brooks' writing and timing is the real charm. His surreal conversation with an Italian waiter at Spago is the funniest thing I've seen all year.