I would call myself a Woody Allen fan. I love most of the films he made in at least the first half of his career, and I thought Match Point was a return to form, but his films since then have been mostly misses, and this is another one. Of course I am also not much of a Larry David fan, so that does not help, but it is the script that really does not work for me. This was a script Allen had written in the 1970’s for actor Zero Mostel, but had shelved it when he died in 1977. Allen updated it for modern times when there was an upcoming Screen Actor’s Guild strike looking, so he could get a film made. And maybe this film would have worked in the 1970’s, but now it just seems stale and not all shocking, mostly just bland, without even much in the way of laughs. This is one to skip.
Boris Ylnikoff (Larry David) who loves to break the 4th wall and talk to the audience is a crotchety old man, formerly a married professor, but now a man who teaches chess for a living and lives to rant and rave about politics. And he has a permanent limp from when he woke up a few years back with a panic attack and jumped out the window and survived. He then divorced his wife (Carolyn McCormick) and left his job, and lives the life of a shut in, complaining that everyone else is not as smart as him. One night when he comes home there is a young girl sleeping on his door step. He reluctantly lets Melody (the girl played by Evan Rachel Wood) in for a meal. In short steps he has heard her story about running away from her heavily Christian family in Mississippi and not knowing anyone, and amazingly is letter her stay there, first for a night, and then for longer. His friends (Adam Brooks, Michael McKean and Lyle Kanouse) are all blown away, and wonder when he will get rid of her. Boris and Melodie travel the city together with him imparting his wisdom, or cynicism to her, and Melodie begins to love Boris, and starts to adopt some of his views. She starts working walking dogs and makes a date with a boy, but after so much time with Boris, she finds him boring and stupid. She admits to Boris that she loves him, and they get married!
REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS… (more…)