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No reason to curse the curse movie

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I never understood the big fuss about Midnight in Paris when it came out last year. Not that there was anything wrong with it: I thought it was pretty delightful, though lightweight, and gave it a 4/5.

However it didn’t stand out for me among other Allen movies and I certainly didn’t buy into the idea that he had been out of shape for decades, making mediocre movies and that he now had made a masterpiece that brought him back to the top.

As little as I understood the hype about that film, as little do I understand the scorn and hatred some of Allen’s older movies get. For me an Allen is an Allen. I’ve seen a lot of his movies over the years and I can only think of a handful that I really didn’t like, mainly his earliest ventures into slapstick such as Bananas. But on the whole, they’re all good – and sometimes brilliant.

Looking around it seems as if The Curse of the Jade Scorpion didn’t please the critics. Martin Teller, a blogger whose knowledge and taste I respect, has watched and graded no less than 40 Woody Allen movies and he ranks this one as Allen’s worst.

And I don’t quite get it to be honest. I thought this was a pretty charming little story. Is it silly? Yes. But charmingly so. I would put it in the same category of silliness as Midnight in Paris.

I won’t go into the plot, since it’s so simple that you can’t really talk about it without spoiling it. But I think some keywords from IMDb will give you the picture:

insurance investigator
thief
scorpion
magician
1940s
efficency expert
office affair
escape
burglary

I was entertained well enough and that’s actually all I expect from an Allen film. My only objection would be that it’s a little bit tiresome that we always get to see young, hot women throwing themselves in the arms of elderly men, but that it’s so rare that we ever get to see the opposite. Would it be impossible for Allen’s character to actually date someone of his own age for once?

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (Woody Allen, US, 2001) My rating: 4/5

Written by Jessica

August 23, 2012 at 8:13 am