User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 48
  2. Negative: 8 out of 48
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  1. DoyleP.
    Jun 9, 2005
    10
    Couldn't take my eyes and mind off this movie. My only criticisim is that the characters might have been five or ten years older and therefore their problems would have been more pressing. Thanks, Woody.
  2. SharonM.
    Apr 5, 2005
    9
    Having read some of the critics reviews on this film I went into the cinema not expecting to be impressed, but I was. Not one but two interesting and thought provoking stories are told with gems of wit. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone, Woody Allen fan or not.
  3. WallyS.
    Dec 8, 2005
    8
    Woody Allen is in good shape, he creates a wonderfull plot full of autentic characters that are performed with majesty. Definetly, a cult film to see over and over again, just to capture the delightfull essence of the story, that is great.
  4. Rhonda
    Apr 17, 2005
    8
    Why do critics hate Woody Allen so much? This was a good film--interesting structure, complex, and great characters. It sort of threw out the question, is life tragic or comic, or maybe more to the point, how should we view life, or how should art present life? Then it gave two examples in an entertaining, intertwined plot that was pretty clever. I did not find it hard to follow at all. Why do critics hate Woody Allen so much? This was a good film--interesting structure, complex, and great characters. It sort of threw out the question, is life tragic or comic, or maybe more to the point, how should we view life, or how should art present life? Then it gave two examples in an entertaining, intertwined plot that was pretty clever. I did not find it hard to follow at all. It was like giving two different people some details-- a woman arriving at a door and being taken in, a cheating spouse, a magic lamp, mysterious plot twists, etc--and asking them to make their own story using the same details. No real answer to the question is every given; the audience just watches the two versions, which are really absorbing, and you have to decide. An easy cop out to the question would be, it's both. But in true art, one must choose one form over the other, even if your comedy has some sobering parts, or your tragedy has some black humor. If you are good at both, or see life in both ways, how do you choose? Expand
  5. ChadS.
    Apr 16, 2005
    8
    "Don't call it a comeback(yes, it is, Mr. Allen)/I been here for years (yes, I wasn't born when "Take the Money and Run" came out)/Rockin' my peers ("Annie Hall", "Manhattan", "The Purple Rose of Cairo" & "Bullets Over Broadway) and puttin' suckas in fear ("Curse of the Jade Scorpion", "Hollywood Ending" & "Anything Else"). Woody doesn't knock us out, but "Melissa "Don't call it a comeback(yes, it is, Mr. Allen)/I been here for years (yes, I wasn't born when "Take the Money and Run" came out)/Rockin' my peers ("Annie Hall", "Manhattan", "The Purple Rose of Cairo" & "Bullets Over Broadway) and puttin' suckas in fear ("Curse of the Jade Scorpion", "Hollywood Ending" & "Anything Else"). Woody doesn't knock us out, but "Melissa and Melissa" prompts from his beleagured fans, a standing eight count, largely due to his most inspired screenwriting since "Deconstructing Harry". Did Allen cast Wallace Shawn to remind us of the talk-fest "My Dinner with Andre"? Each time the film switches to the other narrative, it's an indication that the other person is speaking. You can make the argument that "Melissa and Melissa" is actually about two guys having dinner. Allen also seems to be borrowing from Todd Solondz's "Storytelling". Solondz, too, broke his film in two parts, and although Allen interweaves rather than compartmentalize his stories, the casting rarity of a black man (Chiwetel Eliofor) for an inter-racial romance with Melissa (Radha Mitchell), and later, Laurel (Chloe Sevigny), recalls the Robert Wisdom/Selma Blair pairing in Solondz's "Fiction". And, of course, both movies are about narratives made by nerdy auteurs. Radha Mitchell is great, although "Hollywood Ending['s]" Tea Leoni, who must feel like she got the fuzzy end of the lollipop, would've been fine, too, as evidenced by her equally neurotic performance in "Spanglish". In Allen's next film, he should cast Mitchell as a woman living in black and white Manhattan, who survives 9/11, signalling the film's switch to color, as Woody's way of acknowledging the world we live in today. Call the film "Manhattan Now". Expand
  6. LarryR.
    Jun 18, 2005
    8
    Delightful. Woddy Allen shows again the promise of his earlier work. The interiors were over done and unbelievable, distracting from the flow. Maybe we will once again see the glories of yesteryear.
  7. JackF.
    Mar 25, 2005
    7
    At times both stories kind of blend into each other and there is a need to stay more focus then usual. Woody's neurotic and dark side of humor is still going strong. Will Ferrell is at his best.
  8. BarryB
    Mar 27, 2005
    7
  9. VinceH.
    Apr 22, 2005
    5
    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 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
  10. DanB.
    Mar 20, 2005
    5
    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 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
  11. LeeD.
    Apr 16, 2005
    5
    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.
  12. Oct 10, 2011
    5
    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, and neither story is particularly strong on its own.
  13. TonyB.
    Jan 3, 2006
    4
    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.
  14. MarkB.
    Apr 28, 2005
    4
    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 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
  15. Dec 1, 2014
    3
    I revere Woody Allen. But this is one Woody Allen flm I cannot support. The juxtaposition of the storyline simultaneously along tragic and comedic lines just does not work. Most of all, it's confusing. Notwithstanding a terrible script, I have to say Will Farrell does an admirable job. The other cast members fall flat.
  16. MarkP.
    Apr 24, 2005
    2
    I found this film deeply disconcerting and uncomfortable throughout. The dialogue frequently sounds as if it were written by someone who has never seen a film before, with the actors making florid pronouncements about love and life that I didn't believe for a second. Except for the film's star, the actors seem extremely uncomfortable, as if they realize that their characters I found this film deeply disconcerting and uncomfortable throughout. The dialogue frequently sounds as if it were written by someone who has never seen a film before, with the actors making florid pronouncements about love and life that I didn't believe for a second. Except for the film's star, the actors seem extremely uncomfortable, as if they realize that their characters have about as much resemblance to human beings as fireplugs do to streetlights. Every time Will Farrell went into the faux Woody Allen stuttering and jittering, I literally cringed; it was like watching a person who doesn't realize they are mentally ill try to act normal. I had to keep myself from jumping up and running out of the theater -- and finally I did, a few minutes before the end. This movie is deeply amoral and horribly forced. Expand
  17. [Anonymous]
    Apr 23, 2005
    1
    I love Woody Allen, but I can't say this movie was anything worth remembering or ever watching again for a second time. Better luck next year.
  18. CraigA.
    Jun 12, 2006
    1
    Just rubbish. Stilted, unnatural dialogue, wooden performances, pretensious and bourgious. Its concept is supposedly the same story told two different ways. Its not. Its two different stories told the same way - badly.
  19. SusanM
    Dec 29, 2005
    1
    I rented this pitiful "film." I am appalled that anybody was willing to fund this. It reminded me of a beginning acting class where people pair up and do scenes in front of the class and "act" with all the realism of a piece of wood. Moreover, the archaic dialoge just sounded ridiculous. Does Mr. Allen ever listen to contemporary conversations? Oh, and everyone is an accomplished musician I rented this pitiful "film." I am appalled that anybody was willing to fund this. It reminded me of a beginning acting class where people pair up and do scenes in front of the class and "act" with all the realism of a piece of wood. Moreover, the archaic dialoge just sounded ridiculous. Does Mr. Allen ever listen to contemporary conversations? Oh, and everyone is an accomplished musician and they only like Cole Porter! "I was walking along a sidewalk and there was a piano. I used to play in high school. Actually, I gave concerts." Puh-lease. The only cast member I didn't pity was Amanda Peet, who emerged from this mess without losing any dignity. Can't say the same for everyone else. Hey, what did you guys think? Expand
  20. GregT.
    Nov 9, 2005
    0
    Rhonda asks how anyone can hate a Woody Allen movie...easy, just watch this one.
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 40
  2. Negative: 5 out of 40
  1. 75
    With Melinda and Melinda he's (Allen) not just going through the motions. He's saying the game isn't over before you laugh till it hurts.
  2. Woody's back on solid ground with his first memorable pic of the new millennium.
  3. 70
    It's emotionally more alive than anything Allen has done since "Sweet and Lowdown," in 1999. I was absorbed in it, and I liked parts of it. And I wish to God it were better.