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.
Al, Louise, Max and Sy - four literary types who work in the theater business - are discussing what they believe to be the real life truths underlying their work, Max who writes primarily tragic plays, and Sy who writes primarily comic plays. Al proceeds to tell them a real story of a troubled woman named Melinda Robicheaux showing up unexpectedly at a door in the middle of an important business dinner party. Melinda long ago left her physician husband to embark on a relationship with who she initially believed to be the man of her dreams, which ended up not being the case. Melinda tries to put her life back together with the help of select people at the dinner party, some who have their own ulterior motives. Melinda's appearance also opens up the cracks existing in the marriage of one of the couples at the dinner party, while it leads to the dissolution of a friendship that has existed since college. With this basic outline of a story, Max and Sy try to make their point of life being... Written by
Woody Allen has lost his ability to write dialogue or characters that are clearly distinguishable from each other. This is the case with "Melinda and Melinda," where all the characters speak with Allen's generic pseudo-sophistication and have problems and points of view that are not relatable to anyone outside of a four block radius of where Allen lives. They also share the same curious condition of being able to afford multi-million dollar Manhattan apartments that appear to have been designed by professional decorators regardless of their financial situation or what they do for a living.
The only character who exists outside of this dull mindset is Will Ferrel as the obligatory Woody Allen surrogate. Although he does not simply come off as merely doing a Woody Allen impression (like Kenneth Branagh in the god-awful "Celebrity"), Ferrel lacks the charm or charisma that the real Woody had when he was playing the part himself in his best movies.
The end result is another in a string of self indulgent bores from a once-great filmmaker who has been trading in on his former reputation for years.
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