Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gone Hollywood

Guilty pleasures: When Ms. Spenser is out of town, I put on something she wouldn't care for. That often means a Woody Allen movie like Hollywood Ending.

So, Woody is a washed-up director, who had won Oscars for a New York-themed movie (any guesses?) but was now stuck directing commercials in Canada. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, his ex-wife (Tea Leoni, looking awfully Diane Keaton) is trying to get her producer boyfriend (a beefy looking Treat Williams) to hire  him for their next film, a New York period piece.

Woody doesn't want to take the job, but needs the money and the credits. But he's so nervous about it that he goes blind. That's it. That's the high concept. A blind director.

I haven't watched all that many of the later Woody Allen films - after Stardust Memories, say.  I think they fall into roughly 2 classes: Good (Crimes and Misdemeanors, Scoop) and Funny (Manhattan Murder Mystery, Small Time Crooks). This is one of the funny ones: not significant or ambitious, just silly.

Woody Allen is at his Woody Allen-est, all mumbles, tics and neuroses. His co-stars look a lot like Woody Allen co-stars, like Tea Leoni's Keatonesque look. The slapstick comedy isn't as funny as it could be, but the angst - that's funny.

In conclusion, a movie made by a blind director is not going to be good. So, happy ending?


mr. schprock said...

Maybe I've asked this before, but have you seen Bullets Over Broadway? If you haven't, could you please watch it and write it up? I think it's one of his funniest and best.

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

I have, and it fits right into my Funny/Good dichotomy, on the Funny side. It's slight and silly, and about as deep as an oilslick.

Ms Spenser didn't love it, but she still quotes the "As your husband, I forbid it!" scene.