Movie review: “Melinda and Melinda”

What an annoying movie.

Melinda and Melinda (2005) was both written and directed by Woody Allen. Which is most probably why I hated it. It is set in Manhattan, where most of Allen’s movies seem to be set. Hubby remarked that the street in which it was shot looked remarkably similar to the street in which Kerry Bradshaw of Sex in the City lives. My guess is that it was shot on the same studio lot. I wonder if that is true?

The movie starts with four people (three men and a woman, I vaguely recall) sitting around a restaurant table. Two of them are playwrights, one of whom maintains steadfastly that life is essentially tragic, whereas the other maintains that it is essentially comic, and the remaining two friends ping-pong back and forth between the two, trying to keep the peace, I guess.

Personally, I think it’s a really idiotic question to ask, because there really isn’t a yes or no answer. It’s kind of like asking how long a piece of string is. A bit pointless really…

Anyhow, one of the four proposes a simple story of a distraught woman arriving in the middle of a dinner party held by a group of friends in a Manhattan apartment. The one writer turns the story into a tragic one, the other turns it into a comic one. The two parallel stories are acted out by two different groups of actors, but the person playing Melinda, the ‘distraught woman’ is the same, although her dress and hairstyle is slightly different.

The characters were pretentious and fake, the dialogue was completely unrealistic and stilted, and the constant self-absorbed self-analysis by all the characters was seriously irritating. Nobody in the real world speaks like that!

It was so annoying, that we stopped watching just over halfway. After regaining our strength us with a delicious cup of tea, hubby re-immersed himself in reading Tolkien’s tome Lord of the Rings, and I returned to the computer to proofread a thesis. (A bit sad, really, for a Friday night when we should have been out PARTYING with the Capetonian in-crowd!)

All in all, Melinda and Melinda was a typical Woody Allen movie, although it – thank the heavens – at least did not STAR him. But watching this drivel reminded me that I should continue to steer well clear of his movies in future.

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Other movies we’ve watched in July:  

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