Monday, July 25, 2005

SEE: Melinda and Melinda (2004)

I love Woody Allen films. I appreciate their simplicity. I enjoy the great dialogue. The characters are usually interesting. I like how his films are human-centered--no shoot-em-up-let's-blow-up-the-whole-world crap here. And Allen's latest flick reminds me once again why I enjoy his work so much.

Melinda and Melinda is about the life of woman that is told in two ways: as tragedy and comedy. Two playwrights try to make their case for which is a better way to present the story of this fictional woman with a troubled past.

The movie seamlessly alternates between the two versions of Melinda's life. Kudos to Alisa Lepselter for a fine editing job. Because the scenes of the tragic and the comic versions smoothly move in and out of each other, I found that the "tragedy" wasn't so tragic and the "comedy" wasn't that funny. There were elements of both in each version.

Each version had its own cast except for the actress playing Melinda (Radha Mitchell from Finding Neverland), who remained the same. The two ensemble casts are great as they typically are in Allen's films. Will Ferrell's character seemed very Woody Allen-esque--neurotic and nervous. I quite enjoyed his performance as he did his take on "Woody Allen."

This is an entertaining film because of its wit and clever presentation. Allen manages to show that he is fine form.

Things I especially loved about this film: it's set in Manhattan and watching talented actors who have good chemistry.

::4 stars::