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February 09, 2009

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Agreed on all points, but you're leaving out the crucial element of the film, which comes close to redeeming it in my eyes: Rebecca Hall. I don't know how much to credit Woody, but the Rebecca Hall character is the most credible female character in any Woody Allen movie I've seen. She doesn't fall into any of his usual misogynistic types (flighty artsy-intellectual, batshit crazy ice-bitch, etc) and Hall gives her an inner life that ALMOST convinced me that this movie mattered at all. In the end it doesn't, but if it's remembered for anything it'll be for her.

I agree that Hall is pretty good, but only insofar as the wretched material will allow - and that's not, in the end, very far. Her inner life struck me as schematic and phony as Cristina's, even though Hall's performance is significantly superior. She may not fall into Allen's usually unflattering female types, but she's still a creaky type - the cool, levelheaded, aggressively intellectual yuppie whose beliefs/icy demeanor melt away when confronted by the steamy Spanish hunk and his romantic homeland. Blech.

Nick,

I am amused at how people - you included- have failed to recognize Allen's biggest irony: the dullness of American culture as opposed to the European one. Love the clear remarks: "I am glad we are not worried about the restaurant closing at 10 (or something close)...

Are we just trying to fool ourselves here?

Huh?

I was so much looking forward to this movie but have to admit that I fell asleep half way through and couldn't have cared more or less about anybody or anything in it - mildly amusing for a while but so slight I can't quite believe any effort went into making it. The narrator bored me to tears - the only interesting figure in the movie is Juan's father. All the actors were good but it must have been like sleepwalking for them - slick and slight. Yuk.

I started this movie 20 minutes ago, have turned it off and began reading your review and couldn't agree more -- you sum up every reason why I turned it off, and it was only 20 minutes in! I'm definitely not buying these characters and this spanish skeezball, and I'd like to buy and sell that Vicky chick into acting school. I'd paid her way through just to make sure she doesn't mess up another film seeing as it seems most actresses get on by their looks nowadays.

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