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
2 disparate views of the past and future from the same present.
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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