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Hollywood Ending
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Hollywood Ending (Doublesided)
Hollywood Ending (Doublesided)
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Hollywood Ending Review

Directed By: Woody Allen.
Starring: Woody Allen, Debra Messing, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Treat Williams, Téa Leoni.

Synopsis: Woody Allen writes, directs, and stars in his latest contemporary comedy, as a once-famous film director who finds his latest job by working for a studio executive (Williams) who is now dating his ex-wife (Leoni). Even as he starts work on what he hopes will be his comeback project, the director finds, however, that he has gone temporarily blind.

I can almost...almost understand the anti-Woody Allen stance...if you were to direct it at the tabloid version of his life...but to be a film lover and not at least peruse his full ouevre I have to scratch my head in wonderment. See, the reason I bring this up, a director pal o' mine (Carrington Vanston...Big Woo Films) refuses to watch the man's movies. The reason: he doesn't like Woody Allen...so when Hollywood Ending trailers showed up I began trying to convince him to check this one out. It is a topic very near and dear to our hearts, mocking Hollyweird.

But when it came down to it, I could not convince him otherwise...so I was sitting alone in the theatre, occassionally laughing but for the most part, again, scratching my head as to what is wrong with Woody's movies now.

There are some jokes that just get a laugh no matter what, the idea of a director becoming psycho-somatically blind and directing a $60 million picture is hysterical to me. Debra Messing as a thoroughly horrible and over the top actress gets some laughs and Tea Leoni, though mostly the straight role, does get some solid one liners. Another great thing about Leoni's role is that, unlike Curse of the Jade Scorpion where it was a gumshoe getting the 'babe' (Helen Hunt) here, Allen is a Hollywood director who once landed the attractive Leoni, and thanks to Hollywood's real life conditioning, for once this doesn't seem a stretch.

Another great but small role is that played by Benny Cheng who plays the translator...hired to be the go-between for the Chinese cinematographer he becomes the right hand man of Val Waxman (Woody Allen) guiding him through his day to day directorial chores.

However, the real crime of Hollywood Ending is it a) doesn't live up to its title and b) delivers us a lot of wasted talent. Treat Williams is a man I always thought was better than the material he has been given and this movie is no exception. Why is it no one gives him great roles? Is he a real jerk on set? He seems like a good guy, stylish in his acting without ever being overbearing. Tiffani (Amber) Thiessen has a few scenes but only one which is a sad stand-out for the simple fact she delivers the scene in her lingerie and tries to seduce the blind director who can not see what she is attempting to do.

Some great moments are apparent in this movie, and it is not a stupid movie, but it just lets the audience down and for a target as big as Hollywood...well, Woody seems to be throwing his jokes with kids gloves.

The funny part is, after I arrived home, my pals from Big Woo Films called up and were giving in, they would sit through this film as they had already seen Spider-man, and it might help shut me up. The sad thing is, I ended up talking them out of seeing the movie.

It's not horrible...it's just not worth the cost of a movie in theatres. I hate to say it, but 2 stars out of five for another great premise but weak execution.

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Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul



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