the rambling thoughts of a young filmmaker and the discoveries he makes through film, life, and everything in-between...
Friday, December 02, 2011
1651- Melinda & Melinda
This is probably one of my favorite posters for a Woody film. I don't know why I wanted to revisit this one, but here I am. It really isn't one of Woody's finer films by any means. The premise is very interesting - can a story (and therefore any story) be a drama or a comedy based on how it's told? The film follows parallel story lines with only Radha Mitchell's Melinda carrying over from one to the other. Great premise, years ago I thought about writing something like this, I think I still might at some point as my take would be a quite different. I think the main problem with this film is the casting is wrong and, honestly, doesn't really work. He'd originally planned it for Winona Ryder and Robert Downey Jr, and I think that would have worked a lot better. The dialogue feels written and a bit stilted here, and I don't think it's overly different from the majority of Allen's writing, so I'm going to blame the cast. This film came on the backend of a series of films that were not so successful for Woody and so he probably didn't have his usual situation where he could re-cast and re-shoot stuff if needed. Luckily we're back into a golden age for Woody and shouldn't have to have those kinds of things hurting his films and process.
So this isn't essential Woody - it's got a great premise and a few enjoyable scenes and moments, but it feels cold and empty, sadly. Not one of his worst films by any means, it hovers somewhere in the middle.