Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: March 18, 2005
6.0
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 52 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
25
Mixed:
18
Negative:
9
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5
VinceH.Apr 22, 2005
Despite what you may have heard, this is not the "big" comeback Woody fans have been waiting for. It certainly has a better idea at its core and is more overall entertaining than his last few films, it is still nowhere near Woody at his Despite what you may have heard, this is not the "big" comeback Woody fans have been waiting for. It certainly has a better idea at its core and is more overall entertaining than his last few films, it is still nowhere near Woody at his mid-late 90's run of great films (beginning with Manhattan Murder Mystery up to Deconstructing Harry, excluding Celebrity). My main problem with this movie is the story itself. The Melinda stories are just really lazy and not that interesting. The tragedy? Melinda comes back to NYC to stay with her friends after mysterious circumstances. The comedy? A guy falls in love with his downstairs neighbor Melinda after trying to hook her up. That's it folks. The long dialogue scenes are boring and unoriginal and unexciting. There are a few funny lines from Hobie but overall this is very dissapointing. I give it a 5 because of the beautiful NY photography (courtesy of the great Vilmos Zsigmond, who bathes the entire city in either an gorgeous amber orange or a lovely sunny sheen), the as usual great jazz soundtrack, and the performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor, who outshines the other actors so much it's embarrasing. Expand
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5
DanB.Mar 20, 2005
I hate to give Woody a bad review, but the movie's not so good. It's both a comedy and a tragedy. The problem is the tragedy half is not so tragic, and boring to boot. The comedy half is pretty amusing - Will Ferrel does a I hate to give Woody a bad review, but the movie's not so good. It's both a comedy and a tragedy. The problem is the tragedy half is not so tragic, and boring to boot. The comedy half is pretty amusing - Will Ferrel does a surprisingly good job as the Woody surrogate - but that's not enough to make the movie recommendable to anyone who is not intent on watching everything Allen makes. Expand
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4
TonyB.Jan 3, 2006
Although it has an interesting premise, there is really only one reason to see this film, and that is Radha Mitchell's performance, one of the best of the year.
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5
LeeD.Apr 16, 2005
Decent acting and moderately interesting at times, but Melinda and Melinda feels trapped by its gimmick. Better than his other recent efforts- The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, anyone?- but tragically flawed.
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4
MarkB.Apr 28, 2005
Woody Allen's latest exercise not only doesn't have enough good material for ONE Melinda let alone two, but it's questionable wthether there's enough on hand for just a Linda...or even a Mel. Its central conceit is that Woody Allen's latest exercise not only doesn't have enough good material for ONE Melinda let alone two, but it's questionable wthether there's enough on hand for just a Linda...or even a Mel. Its central conceit is that the same basic set of incidents happening to the same character can be interpreted as either a tragedy or a comedy depending on the point of view and treatment. Allen's basic take seems to be the tried-and-true bromide that "if it happens to me, it's tragic; if it happens to you, it's funny as hell"...which has some undeniable truth to it but as a philosophy of drama OR of life comes across as shallow, selfish and mean-spirited. More to the point, the tragic incidents in Melinda and Melinda just aren't especially moving and the comic ones just aren't funny. Woody's failure to pay off is a real shame because he's demonstrated on multiple occasions that he can mix the two seeming opposites effortlessly: Annie Hall, Manhallan and Hannah and Her Sisters included unforgettably poignant overtones, while Interiors had some delightful comic moments (courtesy mostly of Maureen Stapleton) and his last flat-out masterpiece, 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors, was a stunningly perfect, unforgettable blend. Part of the difficulty this time around lies in the acting: I thought Radha Mitchell (who plays both Melindas) was one of Finding Neverland's greatest strengths as J. M. Barrie's neglected, quietly suffering wife, but I wonder now if I saw more at the time than there really was: she's certainly pretty, and has a 24-karat smile, but in all three of these roles she plays extremely passive characters the same way: extremely passively. Will Ferrell, as an infatuated neighbor in the comedy, is acceptable and certainly happy to be "doing a Woody", but looks like he's reining himself in: he does what the Woodman tells him to do, but looks to me like he can't wait to break loose and inhale several bowls of heavily sugared cereal or do a nude run. Amamda Peet, as Ferrell's unappreciative wife, is more impressive: nobody plays superficial, one-dimensional women with more heart and spunk than Peet. The ever-increasing "been there, done that" aspect of Allen's recent films doesn't help matters much: I'm surprised Allen's characters do so much entertaining, because if I had Santo Loquasto designing MY home in the same fussily overelaborate style he does ALL the homes in Allen's films, I'd never invite ANYONE over for fear someone would spill beer on a $6000. end table. (But then, I guess Allen's people don't drink beer.) I'll give Allen credit for ever so slightly varying his musical repertoire: amidst all the jazz tunes and standards, he actually includes a record by somebody who hit the Top 40 in the last thirty years! Ultimately, Allen's central problem these days is that he's churning 'em out entirely too fast: this is his sixth film in seven years with his last really good effort, Sweet and Lowdown, having been released in 1999. Making allowances for all the obvious differences in filmmaking eras and production methods, costs and other factors, one of the few film directors beyond Hollywood's Golden Age that compares with Allen in sheer speed of output is the early 1960s Roger Corman--and with a couple of excellent Poe movies and the original Little Shop of Horrors to his credit at that time, Corman had a notably higher level of artistic success than Allen has had lately! Allen needs to realize that one first-rate film every three years or so is more than worth three mediocre or substandard efforts in a comparable period. The fact that he apparently can't or won't is what makes up the REAL tragedy here. Expand
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5
J-ShapOct 10, 2011
Melinda and Melinda is not a particularly bad film, but just a limp one. In many ways, that's worse. The switching between a comic and tragic interpretation of the same movie keeps afloat with thought, but the film itself is rather empty, andMelinda and Melinda is not a particularly bad film, but just a limp one. In many ways, that's worse. The switching between a comic and tragic interpretation of the same movie keeps afloat with thought, but the film itself is rather empty, and neither story is particularly strong on its own. Expand
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