Wrap your noodle around this one. Real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich (1999); Human Nature (2001)) writes a screenplay about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) writing a screenplay adaptation of a real-life book, The Orchid Thief, written by real-life author Susan Orlean (played in Adaptation by Meryl Streep).
Thus spake Adaptation. Starting out with fake (or real?) behind-the-scenes footage of Malkovich, taking detours to the dawn of life on earth and story mogul Robert McKee's screenwriting class, Darwin's lab, Orlean's book (with Chris Cooper playing the swamp rat/scientist/orchid thief himself), voice-overs, and flashbacks, Adaptation finds inventive convolutions that might make it seem more esoteric than it really is.
See Filmcritic.com for full review.