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