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
The character played by Chiwetel Ejiofor mentions that his opera has been staged at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. See more »
In one of the beginning scenes for the "drama" version of Melinda's tale the battery pack for her microphone creates a very noticeable bulge in the lower back of her shirt. Whenever she stands up from leaning on the kitchen table the bulge turns into the shape of a square. See more »
She's gorgeous. Hard to believe a Republican could be that sexual.
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Manhattan still drives Woody Allen crazy: Urbanites are prey to ambition and lust, pride and diffidence and even sound like Woody with their halting sentences, paranoid affectations, and occasionally witty lines tossed off like the dregs of their grande lattes. It's a petting zoo of needy moderns who most of all want to find love, which eludes them right up to the last cliffhanging moment.
Alvy Singer and Annie Hall are the best known of Allen's angst-ridden city dwellers, but the new Woodies are every bit as screwed up if not more knowing about the quagmires their marriages and professions have become. The setup is twin parallel stories starting from the same incident reflecting separately the tragic and the comic possibilities.
It all begins with a discussion at a restaurant table among four sophisticates about life being either tragic or comic. Sy (Wallace Shawn), a comedy writer, argues that people need laughter to overcome life's essential pain (difficult to separate Shawn from the memory of his discussion in "My Dinner with Andre"). Max (Larry Pine) says that life is absurd and therefore tragic. So each tells the same story differently about an uninvited guest, one story a romantic comedy, the other a tragic tale of a desperate loner.
Will Farrell as a neurotic husband does the best fax Allen yet in his films. His lines are vintage Woody, tossed-off self-deprecation with a worldly wise guy subtext. One of the best lines comes from Susan (Amanda Peet), a director, who discloses the title of her newest film, "The Castration Sonata," putting "male sexuality in perspective." The Woodman returns in fine form to take on Aristotle and try to fulfill his own hope over a quarter century ago when he said, "If my film makes one more person miserable, I'll feel I've done my job." His tragedy has such ample comedy, I predict you won't be miserable.
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