Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nothing Some Cranberry Juice And A Shotgun Won't Cure.

Melinda And Melinda
2004, USA
Woody Allen
DVD

In a match made in the deepest bowels of hell, Melinda and Melinda combines two of my least favorite things in one movie: late-period Woody Allen and any-period Will Ferrell. Throw in a few G-Unit songs on the soundtrack and a urinary tract infection, and you’ve got the kind of evening that would make me take a Benzodiazpine nightcap and go to bed with a plastic bag duct taped to my head. In fact, this movie is a lot like a urinary tract infection; it stars Will Ferrell and his unique brand of dad humor, so it’s very uncomfortable to sit through, and it’s got Chloe Sevigny, so it prevents me from ever getting an erection again. I swear, the only reason that circus freak is in any movie that isn’t a 10 minute fetish web clips is because she looks like a Klaus Kinski and every director wants to be Werner Herzog.



Melinda and Melinda opens on a pretentious dinner table discussion about the relative merits of comedy and tragedy, the two basic forms of drama as defined by Aristotle’s Poetics. I got bored just thinking up that sentence, so imagine how much you’ll have with two hours of this rammed down your throat. The rest of the film plays out the same story two different ways; once as a tragedy, and once as a comedy. It’s a pretty intriguing premise, if you’re sending a sample treatment to the Tisch School of the Arts, but if you’re not trying to impress a selection committee of failed documentary filmmakers, it just comes off like a bad English lesson.

As usual, the film has a strong cast completely wasted by dialogue that sounds more and more like a playwriting workshop with every passing second. Ferrell bumbles around in his usual loud shtick for a bit before lapsing into a lameWoody Allen impression at the 90 minute mark, and Johnny Lee Miller proves once again why the highlight of his acting career was and will always be Hackers. Ultimately, all facetious comments aside, the film fails because the two sections aren’t differentiated enough, leaving the viewer with a comedy that isn’t funny and a tragedy that isn’t tragic, which is a tragedy in and of itself.

7 Comments:

Blogger Sam Kahn said...

I actually just saw this movie about four days ago. I was disappointed as well. What you said is completely true... the comedic half isn't enough of a comedy and the tragic half isn't enough of a tragedy.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Yeah, they just kind of blur together in a miasma of crap.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Talya said...

Gee, Amen. I tought I was the only one...

When was the last time Allen did a good movie?

9:08 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Mighty Aphrodite, maybe.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

I liked Sweet and Lowdown, Deconstructing Harry, and Match Point.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

The first two are OK, the last one is wrong. Johnathan Rhys-Meyers was so very, very awful in that movie, I couldn't be bothered to pay attention. Plus there was a lot of badly exposed and out-of-focus shots, which is generally the norm for Woody Allen films, but was particularly grating here.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous THE SNEERING (homo-phobic) SNOB said...

i never thought chloe sevigny was a very attractive woman, but i would still very much like to bugger her, simply because she is a woman, and thats what women are there for, "TO BE BUGGERED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE !!!".

6:18 AM  

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