An Allen is an Allen is an Allen
I’ve been a fan of Woody Allen’s movies for as long as I can remember. I like most of what he does, including The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, where I think I stand pretty much alone as a supporter. This said I have to admit that the standard has fluctuated a bit in recent years.
I enjoyed Midnight in Paris, though it was a little forgettable. Next up was To Rome with Love, of which I now remember nothing at this point. There was some opera singer taking a shower on a stage, right? And a tourist pic of a police directing the heavy traffic in central Rome. The rest is blank, sorry. 2013 was a good Allen year again, offering Blue Jasmine with a sensational Cate Blanchett as the leading actress. It ended up in my top 20 of the year.
There’s nothing sensational about this year’s Magic in the Moonlight. It’s another go at the fake wizard/medium/hypnotizer theme we’ve seen in other Allen movies. A pretty woman, a somewhat annoying/distract/egocentric/ male stand-in for Allen. Some fun twists and turns, some charming dialogue with some cleaver lines that give food for thought. It’s set in another beautiful setting in the tourist district in Europe that has the sponsorship this time around. It’s also set back in time, to relief us from the burden of watching ugly cell phones, boring googling sessions or reckless usage of social media. This is classic Allen territory, without any surprises.
Or maybe there was one, I hadn’t expected that I’d feel as cold as I do for the love couple (this is a romantic comedy in case it has escaped someone). Ever since the Pride and Prejudice TV series I’ve been a dedicated fan of Colin Firth. Nothing he makes can be wrong. Nothing. Equally I think Emma Stone is a charming actor, not only a pretty face, but someone who conveys personality and interesting inner landscapes. But as much as I love those actors, I don’t want to see them as a love couple again – ever. It’s not a match. The age gap is huge (and so typical, when will we ever see a movie where the woman is 25 years older than the man?), but it’s not just that. There’s something about the chemistry. I don’t believe in their love and I want him to get back together with his original girlfriend.
If you’re not all that familiar with Allen but would like to be, there are many other of his movies that I’d rather point you to.
If you are a fan like me, well then you’ll see it regardless. It’s an Allen after all. And I’m already longing for next year’s movie. Following the every-second-pattern, we have a great one incoming.
Magic in the Moonlight (Woody Allen, US 2014) My rating: 3,5/5