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.
Val Waxman is a film director who was once big in the 1970's and 1980's, but has now has been reduced to directing TV commercials. Finally, he gets an offer to make a big film. But, disaster strikes, when Val goes temporarily blind, due to paranoia. So, he and a few friends, try to cover up his disability, without the studio executives or the producers knowing that he is directing the film blind.Written by
I admit to being a big Woody Allen fan; when I was in college, I went to a Woody Allen movie - Play it Again, Sam - and all around me, people were laughing like hyenas. I had no idea what was funny. Now I don't know how I ever thought that.
"Hollywood Ending" is a 2002 film from the prolific Allen, and he gives it to Hollywood but good. He plays a neurotic, hypochondriacal film director named Val who can't get arrested thanks to being so difficult. But in a conference about a film, The City that Never Sleeps, his ex-wife Ellie (Tea Leoni), in charge of development, is positive that he would be the best man for the job. She is shot down by everyone, including her current producer boyfriend Yeager (Treat Williams) but she manages to convince him to at least meet with Val.
Val loathes Yeager and he doesn't want to have anything to do with him or Ellie but he's just come home from a Canadian winter shoot for a deodorant commercial, from which he was fired, and he's desperate. His long-suffering agent Al (Mark Rydell) gets him the deal, and Val is hired.
The night before the shoot, Val calls Al, in the middle of a Seder, and demands he come over. He's blind. Al gets him to a doctor but there's nothing wrong with Val's eyes. He can't lose the job, so Al goes with him to the set, but is thrown out by Ed (George Hamilton). Al suggests that he find a confidant who can see him through the film. Since Val has demanded a Chinese cameraman who doesn't speak English, the translator needs to be around, so he helps Val out. But Val is going to need a lot more help than the translator.
I found the premise and the whole movie quite funny, with some great dialogue and good acting from everyone, including Debra Messing, who plays Val's current bimbo girlfriend, whom he casts in the film.
The movie would have been better if Allen had actually attempted to cover up the fact that Val is blind rather than acting just like a blind man. The fact that no one noticed is ridiculous. When someone speaks to him, he looks the opposite way, and he stares straight ahead, and he needs help walking.
All in all, I really enjoyed it. It's not his best; it's not his worst. Some very funny scenes and filled with wit.
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