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Paris Manhattan

parismanhattan.poster.ws_Alice Taglioni, Patrick Bruel, Marine Delterme, Lois-Do de Lencquesaing, Woody Allen

Alice is a single woman running her family pharmacy. Her sister found love right out from under her, but Alice is yet to find a man who enjoys Cole Porter and Woody Allen in the same way she does. Allen is her childhood hero and helps her negotiate through life, from his poster position on her bedroom wall.

Although her family set her up with Victor, she remains involved with the dashing Vincent and doesn’t see Victor as the love of her life. Until, that is, Victor surprises Alice by showing her how much he really does know and understand her. Woody Allen may be her guide, but at some point she needs to act on her own.

This is quite an enjoyable French film. It doesn’t provide a lot of laughter, but that is fairly typical of this style of rom com. The comedy subtle and charming, like the characters.

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To Rome with Love

MV5BMTcwNTg4MDMxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjAzMzY3Nw@@._V1_SX214_Alison Pill, Judy Davis, Greta Gerwig, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, Alessandra Mastronardi, Alec Baldwin, Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg

Set in bustling, loveable Rome, here are four separate stories:

American tourist Hayley meets Michelangelo, they fall in love and get engaged. Her parents come to Rome (Allen and Davis) to meet his family. Hayley’s father tries to make Michelangelo’s father into a huge opera star, even though he can only sing in the shower.

Antonio and Milly are newly weds and new arrivals in Rome. They go off in separate directions and each experiences their own sexual fantasy before they come back together and decide to go home.

Leopoldo becomes a star and is hounded by the Paparazzi, just for being his normal, boring old self. And when it all comes to an end, he’s not sure he wants to return to a world without fame and glamour.

Well known architect, John, holidays in Rome where he lived 30 years ago. He meets a young architecture student, Jake, and his girlfriend. They have a friend come to stay who provides a dangerous love interest for Jake. John acts as Jack’s conscience and tries to give him advice.

This film is a little like Allen’s last work “Midnight in Paris“. There are places where you can get confused, and you need to allow yourself to wander off into the bizarre Woody Allen sub-conscious. There are at least six women protagonists in this flick, but as usual, it is the male psyche that is being examined in detail.

I enjoyed this movie. The four story lines are not meant to meet up. They are four separate little films in one. Definitely worth a watch or adding to the Woody Allen library.

Hollywood Ending

Woody Allen, Tea Leoni, George Hamilton, Debra Messing

A New York film about making a New York film – very Woody Allen.  Allen plays Val, a has-been film director hired by his ex-wife and her fiance to do a film on New York.  He’s renowned for being difficult so everyone involved in the project is tense that he’ll lose the film company a lot of money.

Before he can start filming – BOOM – something does go wrong. I won’t tell you what, but bloody hell, it’s funny!

Nowadays, Woody’s films can be hit or miss. These days I can’t wait for him to script himself a leading lady who is closer to his own age. He did well putting Tea Leoni in this film, giving Scarlett Johansson a rest. Debra Messing as Val’s girlfriend is fantastic.

Woody Allen films are, of course, not your typical romantic comedies. But this one contains all the elements of an above average rom com. Still makes me laugh when I think of some of the scenes. This film is a ‘must see’.

Anything Else

MV5BNjkyNjYyMzAzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMTMxNDU3._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Christina Ricci, Woody Allen, Jason Biggs, Stockard Channing, Danny DeVito

Jerry is a young writer and Amanda is an aspiring actor/singer. They meet while they’re both dating other people, but being very attracted to each other, embark on an affair. They eventually move in together, but things go slightly off the rails after a while. Amanda refuses to have sex with Jerry, and whilst Jerry remains faithful and committed to Amanda, he does confide in his fellow writer, Dobel (played by Allen). Dobel is a little unhinged so his advice doesn’t look like being helpful, but he does end up being right about Amanda.

Jason Biggs plays Jerry and does a solid, young version of Woody Allen, perhaps with slightly more masculinity. He is a rambling romantic having unsatisfactory therapy. Amanda, played by Christina Ricci, is dishonest, neurotic, and a smoker and I don’t think we’re meant to like her. I certainly don’t.

I think Ricci an odd choice for a Woody Allen film. It seems like she’s doing a stage page – she needs to dial it back one notch and relax her dialogue. She just doesn’t fit and looked weird in this role –  funnily enough, other reviewers liked Ricci but didn’t like Biggs.

I love Woody Allen films so didn’t mind this movie, but I don’t think it is one of his better ones and found it a tad too slow for my liking.

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