I made the mistake of seeing Woody Allen’s new movie MELINDA AND MELINDA today. Don’t make the same mistake.
The movie takes the story of a woman who crashes a dinner party and follows the ensuing events from two points of view, one dramatic, one comedic. The dramatic storyline isn’t dramatic and the comedic storyline isn’t funny. But both stories are equally dull.
The acting is stagey and artificial. The actors aren’t so much performing their lines as they are simply reading them. The casting sure isn’t what it used to be in a Woody Allen movie, either. Besides the handful of "name" stars (Will Ferrell, Chloe Sevigny, Amanda Peet), the rest of the cast is filled with LAW AND ORDER bit players who aren’t the least bit memorable. Ferrell, who stars in the "comedic" half, spends his time imitating Woody Allen imitating Bob Hope. It’s excruciating. (Remember the big names Woody Allen used to be able to get for his movies? The way things are going now, Brad Garrett will star in his next one).
The movie looks and feels painfully dated and out-of-step, depicting a New York and New Yorkers that only exist in old, and much better, Woody Allen movies. Everybody is a writer, doctor, or artist who lives in a fabulous apartment, engages in casual adultery and quotes Chekov in everyday conversation.
It’s been years now since Woody Allen has made a good movie. I wish he’d take some time off to recharge and reinvent himself…instead of continuing to turn out these listless films.