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Melinda and Melinda (2004)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 23,561 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 174 user | 177 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

Two alternating stories about Melinda's (Mitchell) attempts to straighten out her life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sy
Neil Pepe ...
Al
Stephanie Roth Haberle ...
Louise
...
Max
...
...
Man with Dog
...
Lee
...
Laurel
...
Jack Oliver
...
Sally Oliver
...
Cassie
...
Peter
...
...
Doug
...
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One love story. Two versions. Seriously funny. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for adult situations involving sexuality, and some substance material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 2004 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Melinda & Melinda  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$206,233 (Brazil) (27 May 2005)

Gross:

$606,549 (Brazil) (1 July 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Demetri Martin auditioned for the role that was vacated by Robert Downey Jr. and taken over by Will Ferrell. See more »

Goofs

When Melinda, Walt and Hobie are watching the first race at the race track, Walt says, "No! You did not bet on Bedazzler! That's a nine-to-one horse!" There then follows a scene of Melinda and Hobie talking, following by another scene of them watching a horse race with Walt, in which the dialogue track has been removed from underneath the musical score. However, if you look at Walt's lips during this second scene, he is clearly saying, once again, "No! You did not bet on Bedazzler! That's a nine-to-one horse!" See more »

Quotes

Hobie: I think it'd be only fair to tell you. I'm a Liberal.
Stacey: Oh. Are you talking politically, or in the bedroom?
Hobie: I was talking politically. In the bedroom I'm a left-wing Liberal.
See more »

Connections

Features The Black Cat (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart
(1938)
Music by Duke Ellington
Lyrics by Irving Mills, Henry Nemo & John Redmond
Performed by Duke Ellington, Dick Hyman
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
2 disparate views of the past and future from the same present.
26 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This presentation is original and clever; very nicely twisted from the Rashamon perceptions of several disparate pasts. As usual, Woody is very perceptive and a master of dialog, especially in fracturing relationships.

I noted that the "comedy" writer was heavily focused on the tragic elements of his plot line, while the "tragedy" writer saw little humor in his plot line. Actually, the 2 writers did not seem to differ very much at all in their views. It does not appear that Woody finds life very humorous. Rather, he finds humorous elements in mundane and sad events.

More obviously, most of the characters sound just like Woody. The comedy writer might as well have been Woody and Will Ferrell is a Woody stand-in. Several of the others, including the women, had numerous "Woody" moments. It seems like the actors and even the screen are interfering with Woody's attempts to present his art. Unlike other directors who expect the actors to climb into the characters, Woody seems to ask the actors to stand still while he paints them as the characters. Would he prefer to simple do a monologue?


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