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
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 »
What? What's going on? Wait, all? we used to make love all the time and now, there's always an excuse.
I told you, I'm going through an emotionally difficult time creatively.
You feel like we don't communicate anymore?
Of course we communicate. Now can we not talk about it anymore?
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Are Life, Existence, and Everything inherently comic or tragic? Woody Allen has never been shy about staring down big questions, and with "Melinda and Melinda" he takes a crack at nothing less than the human condition itself. Presented with the same set up, two dining Manhattan playwrights take us through their version of events according to their world views. An unexpected guest crashes a dinner party; is it the makings of disaster or farce? More importantly, is there really a difference? The Melinda (Radha Mitchell) of both competing vignettes is a train wreck of a woman, and makes both her entrances at her worst. Both parties contain struggling actors and couples with respective career and marital difficulties. In each, Melinda's arrival is the catalyst for all manner of bottled up tensions to come to a head. As the stories mirror one another, then veer away only to meet up again, Allen underscores the comic nature of tragedy and vice versa. As expected in an Allen film, there's strong work all around, particularly from Will Ferrell as a stand-in for Allen himself.
There's very little to offend about "Melinda and Melinda." As usual, Allen is working with ideas, and has made a film with a baseline quality about it that's gratifying. Yet most of "Melinda and Melinda" is trodden ground for Allen, and has seen better days in his earlier work. It's hard to fault the guy for being so prolific; indeed the real comedy/tragedy is how unappreciated he seems to be in recent years, considering his output. But, as Allen himself might say, comedy, tragedy; it's like anything else.
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