- I didn’t know this movie existed until my sister asked if I wanted to go see it. It’s hot. I don’t have air conditioning; movie theatres are a two-hour reprieve from the heat.
- Christ, old people really love Woody Allen. The theatre we went to is often dominated by seniors on Saturday afternoons, but I could not believe how they lost their minds the second Allen appeared on screen and started Woody Allen-ing all over the place. I’m not even kidding, they were laughing about ten seconds into his “I hate turbulence” anxiety-ridden schtick. Wow.
- I, on the other hand, definitely prefer Woody Allen movies where he is not also acting in them. Doesn’t he get sick of playing literally the same character (himself) over and over and over again? If not, how big is this guy’s ego?
- I’ve gotten so used to hyperlink movies that I was utterly surprised when none of the storylines ended up converging with one another. I’d say this was refreshing, except I disliked most of the stories and it just made everything feel haphazard.
- The “My Super Sexy Friend Is Coming To Visit, Don’t Fall In Love With Her” story: I do not understand the appeal of the Jesse Eisenberg-type character he plays in every movie. Someone needs to cast him against type so that I can have five minutes of not disliking him when he appears on screen. Ellen Page’s character was equally obnoxious but she did a good job selling her character’s douchiness. Greta Gerwig’s character got the short end of the stick, which I suspect is fate punishing her for having the good fortune of being able to study in Rome.
- The “Woody Allen Is Insufferable” story: Michelangelo’s and Hayley’s relationship exists only so we can have Hilarious Times™ with their various parents, but it was still so poorly fleshed out that when they announced their engagement I was like “Haven’t you only had two dates with this guy?” I mean, I totally get it — hello, handsome lawyer who works pro bono for the poor and disenfranchised! — but if this story is mostly about the parents then I don’t need a meet cute moment explaining how an American met an Italian and they ended up engaged. We’re global citizens. This isn’t that hard to fathom in this day and age.
I strongly disliked how Jerry bullied Giancarlo into performing. I’ve said before that people trying to force you to make something of talents you want to keep to yourself are obnoxious. That Giancarlo eventually came around and enjoyed his opportunity to perform is besides the point, although oddly enough the absurdity of staging an entire opera around a dude in a shower was kind of enjoyable. I kept thinking of how you had to alter the stage directing and blocking of the characters movements to accommodate this, which results in guys walking right up to the shower specifically so that they can be stabbed. Amazing.
- The “Ha Ha, Prostitutes are Hilarious!” story — The only thing I liked about this story was Milly’s dress.
- The “Famous People Famous For No Reason” story — marginally amusing but a little too navel-gazing for me. Yes, we get that famous people are asked inane questions that the adoring plebeians eat up without question. Blah blah. What really killed me was when Leopoldo and his wife Sofia are walking down the street before his meltdown about no one recognizing him, we see a set of extras walking in the same direction as them and then after his meltdown, the same set of extras is walking back the same way they came with Leopoldo and Sofia. I only noticed because there was one guy wearing horrifically beaming white shoes. I know you recycle extras on a film set, but if the point of them is to fill a set with realistic looking background characters, don’t have them stick out like such a sore thumb.
- We were momentarily confused because with all of his filming in sexy European cities for a lot of his recent films, we momentarily thought that Allen was in exile like Roman Polanski. He’s not, but it feels that way.
Categories: 1.5 Stars