Dave's Rating:

1.0

Not if you're lucky, you won't.

Who's In It: Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Gemma Jones, Lucy Punch

The Basics: The 2010 installment of Woody Allen's on (and on and on and on)going thesis about how Life Is Meaningless features an old guy who divorces his wife ("She allowed herself to get old," he says. Seriously.), then marries a dumb blonde hooker that he has to buy off with furs and clothes and an expensive apartment. The old guy's son-in-law is a failed middle-aged male writer with a tense marriage and an extra creepy voyeuristic flirtation with a hot young musician, all while his headachey wife falls for her art gallery boss and her doddering, tipsy, divorced mother becomes religious about visiting a psychic. Everyone's paths cross as they wander around expensive apartments in the bathing-in-money part of London and whine about how their lives aren't working. Don't they sound like great company?

What's The Deal: How many times do you want to watch the same Woody Allen movie? What's your tolerance threshold for repeat visits back to his couch? Because from this point forward, if it's not about crime and punishment like Match Point or Cassandra's Dream, if it's yet another wheel-spinning, unfunny comedy of manners about fancy people and their aimless romantic rootlessness and casually hurtful affairs, then I'd just as soon sit out the remaining joyless chapters. Someone alert me to the moment when the aging director writes a script that demonstrates he's got more to say than everything he's already said before, sparks back to life and changes up his game.

Which Embarrassingly Dated Part Of Annie Hall's 1975 Would You Enjoy From Today's Menu? You could go for Anthony Hopkins (Allen's sturdier stand-in) as he borrows from the director's own vintage references to Ingmar Bergman. ("How quick and fragile is existence.") Or get a load of Naomi Watts as a perfect replica of a migraine-having mad housewife who gripes about her husband not supporting her and then says stuff like, "My nerves are shot." Maybe you'd prefer to hear men and women in their 30s discuss how "stimulating" and "erotic" everything is, or their penchant for "opening bottles of wine and making love." Maybe you'd enjoy seeing Josh Brolin's weird-haircut-having skeevy guy fondle Naomi Watts's feet at their first chance encounter and use a pick-up line like, "They're very pretty." Or get predatory with Freida Pinto. It's all here and it's like the neurotic Manhattan of 35 years ago never went away. All that's missing is for someone to ask for a Quaalude.

Featuring The Wasted Talents Of: Everyone. But you can see comedic character actress Lucy Punch trying hardest as a standard-issue, know-nothing prostitute with a lower-class accent. She somehow stumbles out of it with some grace even as the movie treats her character with contempt every single moment she's on screen.

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Comments (5)

JohnB - 9-23-2010 4:18 PM
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Sounds like a crap movie, won't be seeing this one. Always go with your reviews Dave, been reading them for a few years now and usually your reviews go right along with my taste in movies, plus they are very entertaining, even more so than some of the actual movies themselves. Thanks!

eliz - 9-24-2010 2:27 AM
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i was really looking forward to this one.... sad that it's bad! but Dave, you rock, man!

bill hollingsworth - 9-24-2010 8:44 AM
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my wife and i went to see piranha based on your recomendation. what a piece of crap. use your other head to think with next time

Brian - 9-24-2010 10:36 AM
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Bill, I don't think you understand how accidentally hilarious misguided your comment is. Do you have any idea...? About so many things? Clearly, Dave's review hammered home how ridiculous and over-the-top cheesy "Piranha" is and that the value is indulging in that. Did you take it that you were seeing a movie you were supposed to take seriously? If so, you'd be wise to follow your own advice. Not to be critical.

Vera - 4-09-2012 4:36 AM
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If nothing else, this movie is worth seeing for Lucy Punch. She is absolutely fantastic in it. I don't understand what this part of the review means: "...even as the movie treats her character with contempt every single moment she's on screen". How can a movie treat one of its characters with contempt?? Anyway and for your info, to play a dumb blonde is qute challenging, to play it so well is worth an Academy award. Woody Allen has his ups and downs, like anyone else, but to actually hate this movie, you must have recognized yourself in one of the characters that aren't portrayed with flattery.

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