A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.
Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.
Over a meal in a French restaurant, Sy poses a conundrum to his fellow diners: Is the essence of life comic or tragic? For the sake of argument, he tells a story, which the others then embellish to illustrate their takes on life. The story starts as follows: A young Manhattan couple, Park Avenue princess Laurel and tippling actor Lee, throw a dinner party to impress Lee's would-be producer when their long-lost friend Melinda appears at their front door, bedraggled and woebegone. In the tragic version of what happens next, the beautiful intruder is a disturbed woman who got bored with her Midwestern doctor-husband and dumped him for a photographer. Her husband took the children away and she spiraled into a suicidal depression that landed her straight-jacketed in a mental ward. In the comic version, Melinda is childless and a downstairs neighbor to the dinner hosts, who are ambitious Indy filmmaker Susan and under-employed actor Hobie. Back and forth the stories go, contrasting the ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Winona Ryder was originally cast as Melinda, but was forced to drop out because no agency would insure her due to her famous arrest for shoplifting. Woody Allen stated in the book "Conversations with Woody Allen" that he wanted to cast Ryder, but he couldn't get a bonding on her. See more »
At the beginning of the movie it is poring with rain and yet not a single car that drives by on the street has its windshield wipers on See more »
The essence of life isn't tragic; it's comic.
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I went to see this film a bit skeptical, because Woody's last movies were not his best ones. In the last ten years, he has made funny, entertaining films; some quite interesting, as "Decontructing Harry" or "Sweet and Lowdown", but generally unimportant. But wit "Melinda and Melinda" he has made one of his most brilliant films. As in "Crimes and Misdemeanors", he mixes two different stories -a dramatic one, and a light comedy-. The result ins quite different; this movie is not as critic as that, but is really enjoyable. He mixes a drama -serious, deep, with well-built characters, and really credible- and a delicious comedy -with really funny quotes, and moments that recover his best of the 80's-, with a lot of talent, because the two stories complete each other, the movie doesn't creak.
Radha Mitchell is wonderful as the two Melindas: suggestive and content in the drama; innocent, tender and funny int he comedy. And Will Farrell, who takes the 'Woody Allen role', is the best choice he has done for that purpose ever- because instead of imitating Allen, he creates a new character, human, pleasant and funny. The script is great; with parallelism and second interpretations- And the movie is really entertaining. I hope it will get the attention it deserves; and I expect Woody Allen to keep this new walk in his career. (9/10).
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