6.5/10
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Melinda and Melinda (2004)

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Two alternating stories, one comedy and the other tragedy, about Melinda's attempts to straighten out her life.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wallace Shawn ... Sy
Neil Pepe Neil Pepe ... Al
Stephanie Roth Haberle ... Louise
Larry Pine ... Max
Radha Mitchell ... Melinda Robicheaux
Michael J. Farina ... Man with Dog
Jonny Lee Miller ... Lee
Chloë Sevigny ... Laurel
Matt Servitto ... Jack Oliver
Arija Bareikis ... Sally Oliver
Brooke Smith ... Cassie
Zak Orth ... Peter
Will Ferrell ... Hobie
Andy Borowitz ... Doug
Amanda Peet ... Susan
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life can be a comedy or a tragedy, it all depends on how you look at it. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Melinda & Melinda See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,238, 20 March 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,825,351, 19 June 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Mono)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ellis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) mentioned that his opera has been staged at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Hobie: What? What's going on? Wait, all? we used to make love all the time and now, there's always an excuse.
Susan: I told you, I'm going through an emotionally difficult time creatively.
Hobie: You feel like we don't communicate anymore?
Susan: Of course we communicate. Now can we not talk about it anymore?
See more »


Soundtracks

Somebody Stole My Gal
(1918)
Written by Leo Wood
Performed by Erroll Garner
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Mediocre Woody is still pretty good
16 June 2005 | by nowonmai42See all my reviews

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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