Thursday, August 16, 2007

Melinda and Melinda (Movie Review)

Seems every review of a "new" Woody Allen movie is determined to compare it to old Woody Allen.

Melinda and Melinda (2005) is no exception. Reviews are a fair mix of "another Woody Allen flop" and "a breath of fresh air in comparison to most of the other films Allen has put out in the past decade."

I'll reserve my frustration for these comparisons for another day (suffice it to say I think we as a people have a difficult time moving on). I mean, it's true Melinda and Melinda is no Annie Hall, but then again... how many movies are?

In Melinda and Melinda, a dinner party is sitting around discussing the differences between comedy and tragedy. A member of the group offers a snippet of a true story, and then asks them to determine whether it's comic or tragic.

What unfolds, then, are two stories, both involving a heroine named Melinda. Melinda's down on her luck and though each "writer" (both comic and tragic) forges the "facts" of the story to suit his comic or tragic needs. And if each interpretation is intended to be analogous with everyday life, I couldn't help but wonder what Melinda's REAL story would've been, had it not been intentionally skewed to conform to a particular mold.

But if the point is that life, comedic or tragic, is all a matter of how we interpret events as they unfold before us... then. Well. Yeah, I get that.

Ultimately, though, I didn't care too terribly much about either Melinda. And though I appreciated the idea of the split narrative, I was otherwise unmoved.

I did like the ending, though I appear to be the minority there.

Final Grade: C+

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