[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/charlie_kaufman.png]]

->''"Say who you are, really say it in your life and in your work. If youíre honest about who you are, youíll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognize him or herself in you and that will give them hope. Give that to the world, rather than selling something to the world. Donít allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work and that in the end selling is what everyone must do. Do you. It isnít easy but itís essential. Itís not easy because thereís a lot in the way. In many cases a major obstacle is your deeply seated belief that you are not interesting. And since convincing yourself that you are interesting is probably not going to happen, take it off the table. Think, ĎPerhaps Iím not interesting but I am the only thing I have to offer, and I want to offer something. And by offering myself in a true way I am doing a great service to the world, because it is rare and it will help.í"''

Charles Stuart "Charlie" Kaufman (born 1958) is an American screenwriter known for his [[PostModernism metatextual]] references, use of absurdism, and [[MindScrew headache-inducing]] tendencies. Creator/SpikeJonze and Creator/MichelGondry have each directed several of Kaufman's screenplays. Considered to be among the most brilliant contemporary screenplay-writers.

Outside of his original screenplays, he has worked as an [[UncreditedRole uncredited]] script doctor for screenplays such as ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2''. [[HeAlsoDid Yes, really.]]

!!Works include:

* ''Film/BeingJohnMalkovich'': The feature debut of director Creator/SpikeJonze.
* ''Film/HumanNature'': The feature debut of director Creator/MichelGondry.
* ''Film/{{Adaptation}}'': A meta-adaptation of ''The Orchid Thief'', framed as the story of Kaufman's struggle to script an unfilmable novel adaptation and deal with his evil-hack-writer-twin.
* ''Confessions of a Dangerous Mind'': The directorial debut of Creator/GeorgeClooney, although Clooney deviated considerably from the script without Kaufman's permission.
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'': A science fiction film about a company which can [[LaserGuidedAmnesia selectively erase their clients' memories]]. Kaufman won the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for Best Original Screenplay for this film.
* ''Film/SynecdocheNewYork'': Kaufman's directorial debut about a stage director who creates a [[RecursiveReality life-sized model]] of [[BigApplesauce New York City]] in his pursuit of verisimilitude on the stage. Considered by Creator/RogerEbert to be the best movie of the last decade.
* ''How & Why'': A TV pilot Kaufman pitched to FX, [[WhatCouldHaveBeen but to no avail.]] After his children's science show is canceled, Goodman Hesselman (Creator/MichaelCera) tries to start over with a new show in a little TV market - also a portal to the supernatural world.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Anomalisa}}'': Kaufman's first animated feature, a lonely man struggles to connect with the first truly unique woman he's ever met. Co-directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson.

!!Tropes in Charlie Kaufman's works include:

* AdultFear: His films concern such lovely topics like morality, loneliness, aging, identity, existentialism, an inability to connect, damaged relationships, confusion and mental illness. Some fun!
* AuthorAppeal:
** Romances where a melancholy man will fall for an extraordinary woman, but things arenít what they initially seem.
** Copious amounts of surrealism and headache-inducing moments.
** Fictionalized facts and playing with the rules of reality.
** [[MeaningfulName Meaningful names]], usually referencing mental illnesses and diseases.
** [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Monkeys.]]
* BlackComedy: When his comedy isnít [[SurrealHumor weird as hell]], itís probably going to be this.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: ''Being John Malkovich'' and ''Human Nature'' are the biggest offenders. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind has this too and were the original DeusExMachina in ''Adaptation''.
* GenreBusting
* LoserProtagonist: Very few Kaufman protagonists arenít. Hell, he even made [[{{Film/Adaptation}} himself]] one!
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: ''Being John Malkovich'' and especially ''Sunshine'' deconstruct this to the extreme. They go over what happens when the novelty of such a person wears off.
* MeaningfulName: Particularly in ''Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'', ''Synecdoche, New York'' and ''Anomolisa.''
* MetaFiction: ''Adaptation'' most bluntly, but also seen in ''Synecdoche, New York''.
* MindScrew: Almost goes without saying.
* {{Portmanteau}}:
** ''Synecdoche, New York'' is a combination of "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schenectady,_New_York Shenectady, New York]]" and "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synecdoche synecdoche]]".
** ''Anomolisa'' is a combination of ĎíAnomalyíí and Lisaíí.
* PostModernism: [[MetaFiction Metafictional elements?]] Check. {{Deconstruction}}? Of course! [[MindScrew Weirdness up the wazoo?]] You bet!
* RedOniBlueOni: His romantic leads are this, males almost always being being blue and women usually being red.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Overwhelmingly cynical, but somehow have a glimmer of optimism at his core.
* SurrealHumor
* SurrealHorror: Used every so often.
* WidgetSeries: Usually of a dramatic variety.
* YourCheatingHeart: Used frequently often, usual for his protagonists.
----