|Duration||1h 52m||Rating (UK)||13|
|Source of story||An original Woody Allen screenplay|
|Starring||Woody Allen, George Hamilton, Treat Williams, Debra Messing, Mark Rydell, Tiffany Thiessen, Téa Leoni,|
Elevator Pitch: Val Waxman is a former Hollywood director, who has fallen on hard times. He has lost his wife to a studio boss and lives with a physically attractive but intellectually limited young woman. His ex-wife successfully lobbies the studio to let him direct a 30s remake, but the day before he is due to start work he finds that he has been struck blind. It seems to be psychosomatic, and Al, his agent, suggests that with help he can still do the job, and conceal the problem. The work, for what it is, brings him closer to Ellie, his ex-wife. Could they be reconciled.
Content: No sex or nudity, some smoking and a bit of drinking. Indeed one of the fun aspects of the film is that people are having virtually pointless discussions all the time, always involving eating and drinking. While directing the film, the director’s blindness must be concealed by those who know about it. There are constant agruments with the photographer who does not speak any English. When Val and his ex-wife are supposed to be discussing the film, he just complains about how she left him, but they gradually get on. Also he reconciles with his grungy son.
A View: This movie was panned by the critics and was considered by Robbie Collin, a critic whose views I respect, as being the worst Woody Allen film ever. But that was in 2016, before the release of “A Rainy Day in New York”, and actually I think there are others. Woody Allen is still in it, reducing the need for some other actor to be taking on his persona, which can be irritating, and there is a lot to be enjoyed in his gentle putting down of Hollywood. George Hamilton, for instance, always carries a golf club. I am a bit of a fan of films about film-making, so, despite the fact that it made no money, even against its moderate budget I think it is a watch for nothing.
Additional Info: The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards nominated “Woody Allen and any actress decades younger” for Worst On Screen Couple. In this case he 66, Debra Messing 34.