March 21, 2005


Melinda and Melinda (James Bowman, March 18, 2005)

Who was it who said it’s the hardest thing in the world to be funny? It might have been Woody Allen, come to think of it. But Woody Allen himself is not even trying anymore. His new film, Melinda and Melinda is fake from the set-up, which consists of a writer of comic plays and a tragedian arguing about whether life is fundamentally comic (the tragedian’s argument) or tragic (the comic writer’s). It’s a parody of a Woody Allen movie. And anyway, who writes tragedies today? Mr Allen seems to think there is something profound about his banal point that if you change what happens to your characters, you automatically go from tragedy to comedy or vice versa. If you show happy things befalling them, it’s a comedy; sad things, it’s a (sort of) tragedy. Who knew?

Mr. Allen was only ever even mildly amusing when he made fun of himself. But he started taking himself seriously ages ago (even as most of those who previously had stopped). It's entirely typical that he misses his own point here.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 21, 2005 2:07 PM

Woody started going downhill, and his ego started taking center stage, when he portrayed himself as a sex machine for an insatiable woman in "Love and Death." But by the time that came out in the middle of the 1970s he could have done a movie featuring 90 minutes of New Yorkers doing jazz riffs using armpit noises at Michael's Pub and the film critics would have swooned. Outside of a few stray gripes by fans that his films weren't as funny as they used to be (which led him to attack his fans in "Stardust Memories"), the bloom really didn't fall off the rose with the critics until his little mother-daughter affair, and even then he still gets the benefit of the doubt from many of that same group.

Posted by: John at March 21, 2005 3:29 PM

Christian Resource Network called Mark Morford a "misguided, lost and carnal individual... filled with vexation and ignorance of God [who will] gladly cheer the anti-christ."

It's a vastly cooler write-up than that ignorant piece of human garbage deserves, so maybe it could be apropriated for Allen.

Posted by: Amos at March 21, 2005 7:21 PM