• PG-13, 1 hr. 48 min.
  • Drama, Romance, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Woody Allen
    In Theaters:
    Mar 18, 2005 Limited
    On DVD:
    Oct 25, 2005
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures

Opening

45% The Other Woman Apr 25
—— Brick Mansions Apr 25
50% The Quiet Ones Apr 25
91% Locke Apr 25
81% The Machine Apr 25

Top Box Office

89% Captain America: The Winter Soldier $26.6M
47% Rio 2 $22.5M
52% Heaven Is for Real $21.5M
20% Transcendence $11.2M
7% A Haunted House 2 $9.1M
62% Draft Day $5.9M
41% Divergent $5.8M
71% Oculus $5.2M
77% Noah $5.0M
13% God's Not Dead $4.8M

Coming Soon

71% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 May 02
—— Walk Of Shame May 02
100% Neighbors May 09
—— Godzilla May 16
—— X-Men: Days of Future Past May 23

Melinda and Melinda Reviews

Page 1 of 48
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

February 19, 2014
Melinda and Melinda is a great idea, the parallel telling of the same story, one as serious drama and one as comedy. To be fair only someone like Woody Allen could conceive such an idea let alone pull it off. Well, he conceived it but he didn't pull it off. On one side I think the characters don't work and are badly written but then the same could be said of some of Allen's other characters that did work. I think it comes down to the actors. The actors and the complexities of the story that only gets more complicated the further into the film you get. Allen's films have gone down in quality overall since 2000 but I'm starting to think it's down to the casting decisions rather than the writing (although any Allen film set in the UK is both badly written, conceived and acted, not to mention best avoided).
Red L

Super Reviewer

December 17, 2012
I guess I have to see it again. Don't watch M & M if you are tired - it is too confusing realizing which story you are in.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2012
Woody Allen has long made both dramas and comedies, and even some hybrids of the two. This film though, is perhap the first time where he really blended them in a unique or interesting way. The movie is a frame story sort of deal concerning a group of friends (two of which are playwrights) at a restaurant discussing which is the more true to life type of story: a comedy or tragedy? To make their respective points, they tell one love story about the same woman, two different ways, comedically and tragically, with each story having some of the same types of details) the initial setups, plot points, and just some small stuff like preference for certain things, etc).

This is a really fun premise, and it's done pretty well. To really make things lively, the two stories are told intertwiningly, instead of one after the other, as a result, the movie as a whole is a giant ball of comedy and drama, but I'm not gonna say how it all ends, since that would spoil the fun. I'll just go ahead and say though, that the film does conclude in maybe the most appropriate way possible. Heck, you might even be able to figure it out just by the premise alone.

I won't say which of the stories about Melinda is the better one, or the preferred one, since I just can't do it. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, offer up some universal truths, and have some good stuff going on. No, the film isn't perfect, and it does move kinda slow, and a lot of this is just more of Allen being Allen instead of truly branching out and doing something groundbreaking. However, even when he rehashes, it's a joy because he's just a great kind of artist whom you don't mind listening to every time he talks, even if he's repeating the same stuff over and over.

The cast is populated with lots of names, from Radha Mitchell playing both sides of Melinda, Will Ferrell as the Allen surrogate, Wallace Shawn as one of the storytellers, and Chiwetel Ejiofor playing the only real character who actually seems fleshed out instead of just being a caricature or sketch of a real person.

The performances are pretty good though, even if Ferrell doesn't quite make the role his own and Sevigny and Peet try hard but still sorta seem to struggle. Ejiofor and Mitchell are the best (hands down), but like I said, even though not everyone is great, no one really sucks here.

I kinda wished for something that didn't seem to be very plodding or rather directionless at times, but I won't that this was boring or a waste of time. It's not completely satisfying, but it works pretty well as a side dish as opposed to a full meal, ie: watch it along with some other stuff instead of making it the highlight of a movie night.
Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

March 6, 2012
Even in his weakest movies, Woody Allen manages to make me think, and M and M was no exception. Is life really a comedy or tragedy according to the way you look at it? Probably. Will Ferrell was the surprise Woody Allen wannabee and he really pulled it off, I thought better than Woody manages to nowadays. None of these characters were anybody I liked, but I was rooting for all of them, so some magic was being performed somewhere. I look at this movie as something to be seen in the context of Allen's entire body of work, not as a single note.
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

August 14, 2010
Not since Gwyneth Paltrow's Sliding Doors has such a film drawn parallels between two sides of the same story based on cursory details. Allen tells the same tale of a beautiful girl with problems, one side his theatrical drama and the other a quirky comedy. Both stories center around a woman named Melinda, on one side a depressive, alcoholic mother who tries to move on but is thwarted by her weakness for romance, and on the other is a sweet girl who falls in love with a sad sack down the hall. Both tales are equally entrancing, and both show a side of actress Radha Mitchell that is usually blocked off. Though this is one of Allen's lesser known films and his more marginally eccentric, it is still a beauty. Much of the film depends on the actors attributed to it, and much like every Allen film he has assembled some very talented people. Most notably he put the extraverted Will Ferrell in a role where he had to be understated and likable as a romantic lead. Luckily Ferrell pulls it off with a sweet vulnerability that he rarely shows unless he plays a more childlike character. Putting in an appearance in the dramatic interpretation is Chloe Sevigny, who reads her lines exactly like Scarlett Johansson does in Scoop. She reads her lines carefully and delicately, which really irked me as the character came off cold and repetitive because of it. The film also drags considerably between the two intermingling storylines. It's pretty obvious that without the mirror image of the two different stories neither side could stand alone by itself. The comedy with Will Ferrell is certainly cutesy and considerate but it's mostly schmaltz. The drama is so dreary and obsessive that without the comedy aspect it would all seem far too cruel. This balancing act becomes nauseating at times, but when both end respectively it comes together well enough, even going back to the original narration, explicitly showing that destiny is real and reality is relative. It's smart, but odd.
Ross C

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2010
One of those movies with so much dialogue that I've got to see three times before I can fully appreciate it - I don't have the power of concentration enough to keep up with the plot on the first viewing and I don't taking in all the subtleties until the third! It's an entertaining story, made even more so by being the exact same story told twice in parallel but with a twist, one is told as a romantic comedy the other a tragic drama. A philosophical, conversational movie that would appeal to Sex and the City fans.
Pierluigi P

Super Reviewer

June 19, 2009
Flawed by its predictability and lack of punch both in humour and drama. despite that obvious problems I found it quite inventive and pleasant, especially for the satisfactory performances of Radha Mitchell and ChloŽ Sevigny, even for Will Ferrell doing a modern version of Woody Allen. A lighthearted entertaiment.
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2010
An interesting story, telling two sides of the same situation, one dramatic and one comedic. Will Ferrell was recruited by Allen to play his character and he does a good job. Rhada Mitchell is very good in almost a duel role as Melinda. The kind of story that goes back to the old days of Woody Allen movies, complete with jazz, new york settings and rich dialogue. Plays well as an homage to old Allen films.
Lanning :

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2010
3.5 stars--does that actually work now? Yes, it does! Right on. A little more of an intellectual exercise than a movie you can get lost in. I had wanted to see this because Chloe Sevigny is in it. She's good; I'm a fan since Boys Don't Cry. The real surprise: I've seen Radha Mitchell before, but never really noticed her until this one. This woman can deliver lines. Two observations:
1. Wally Shawn can do anything.
2. Will Ferrell must not be allowed to do any more movies until he submits to some acting lessons. It's like he's always playing some version of that cheerleader character from SNL.
Lewis C

Super Reviewer

November 16, 2009
"Comic or tragic, the most important thing to do is to enjoy life while you can. Because we only go round once, and when it's over, it's over. And, perfect cardiogram or not, when you least expect it, it could end like (snaps fingers) that."

The general opinion about Melinda & Melinda is pretty mixed. I fully expected this to be one of Allen's weaker movies, but I ended up enjoying the heck out of it. I don't know if my enjoyment was because of my recent infatuation with Radha Mitchell, or if the movie really was just that good. Whatever the reason, I'm convinced that this movie is sorely underrated.†

A group of friends sits at a table at a restaurant, and listens to two versions of a story; one comic, and the other tragic. The stories are both played out with completely different actors; save for the character of Melinda (played by Radha Mitchell), who arrives unexpectedly in the middle of a dinner party in both stories. I know that may sound a little confusing, in a movie that questions whether the essence of life is comic or tragic, it works well.

Three complaints: some of the humor was hit-and-miss, the script was a little too unfocused to communicate the themes of comedy and tragedy in a way that presented a totally focused point, and Ferrell didn't have a perfect handle on the "Woody Allen role" (though I can't really think of who could have done it better). †Those are the only less-than-favorable comments that I have to make. I thought the film as a whole was a combination of a great cast and smart writing, and those are the main things I look for in anything Allen directs.†

This is a traditional Woody Allen movie. More Annie Hall than Match Point. Which means it's very verbose, quirky, focused on a specific type of people that you only find in the New York City that exists in Woody's mind, and it has his trademark humor. I would hesitate to recommend this to an Allen novice, but if you know what you're getting into and you "get it", then you might enjoy Melinda & Melinda as much as I did.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

August 27, 2009
Radha Mitchell, Will Ferrell, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chloe Sevigny, Wallace Shawn, David Aaron Baker, Arija Bareikis, Josh Brolin, Steve Carell, Brooke Smith, Johnny Lee Miller

DIRECTED BY: Woody Allen

I got a couple good reviews on the film saying how good it was, so I thought I would give it a watch. But unfortunately I didn't have the same experience. I found it quite boring and very blah. I couldn't get into it. I found myself struggling just to finish it. It's one of those movies when you go "FINALLY" when it's over. This is only my opinion. Other people have enjoyed this film. I am just not in that category. So I say since there are some who loved it and went as far as giving it five stars, give it a try. You may like it.. ??
Jennifer X

Super Reviewer

November 29, 2008
Seriously, as I watch more and more of these supposed "worse" Woody Allen movies I fail to see how he has fallen from Annie Hall in any way. I like seeing all these familiar yet not quite astronomically famous faces set in a Woody context and it makes me see them differently, I guess. Like I don't like Chloe Sevigny on a normal basis but now I like her much much better. Radha Mitchell is radiant in both stories and she's quite good at getting me to simultaneously hate her and love her and pity her. It's not a movie that's really ABOUT anything except the comedy vs. drama analysis but it's quite interesting to see how fleshed out the drama characters are and how you don't know really anything about the comedy characters but you don't care because the characters are so freaking FUNNY. Putting in Will Ferrell was a nice touch, I think.
Alice S

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2008
Neither of the two stories were terribly tragic or comic. Perhaps Woody's most pretentious script. Textbook definitions of how NOT to reveal information, both in dialogue and monologue.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

August 27, 2006
[font=Century Gothic]"Melinda and Melinda" starts with two playwrights(Wallace Shawn and Larry Pine) debating about whether comedy or tragedy best represents the human condition. They are given a plot to dissect: a dinner party is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Melinda(Radha Mitchell).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]In the tragedy version, the dinner party is being held by an old friend of hers, Laurel(Chloe Sevigny), and her husband, Lee(Jonny Lee Miller), an actor who is hoping to land the lead in a new play.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]In the comedy version, Melinda is a downstairs neighbor who interrupts the dinner party being held by Susan(Amanda Peet, miscast as a film director) and Hobie(Will Ferrell, who does a better Woody Allen impression than Kenneth Branagh) after ingesting a large amount of sleeping pills. Susan is hoping to get financing to direct her second feature while Hobie is a struggling actor with a thing for playing every part with a limp.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Melinda and Melinda" is a grand idea for a movie but it fails in its execution. There is little difference between the two versions because Woody Allen's style permeates both to the core.(And saying that there is both comedy and tragedy in life does seem a rather obvious statement.) Overall, the only reason for the movie to exist is as an acting showcase for Radha Mitchell who is amazing.[/font]
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2010
"Of course we communicate. Now can we not talk about it?!" A typically uneasy and unsure beginning leads to a largely successful experiment, and the central cast are excellent. Review soon.
Mike T

Super Reviewer

December 4, 2008
A delightfully unique concept is acted out fantastically by a great cast and backed up by a solid screenplay. A little sloppy in execution at times, but it more than redeems itself with entertainment value.
Tecnoandre
Tecnoandre

Super Reviewer

July 31, 2011
The film is set in Manhattan and stars Radha Mitchell as the protagonist Melinda, in two storylines; one comic, one tragic. ChloŽ Sevigny, Jonny Lee Miller, and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in the tragedy story alongside Mitchell, while Will Ferrell, Amanda Peet, and Steve Carell star in the comedy story. Despite the bad critics, for me this is a delicious movie, directed with maestry by Allen.
Sunil J

Super Reviewer

March 18, 2009
Mediocre but the cast left me feeling that I hadn't wasted my time.
Marion R

Super Reviewer

July 10, 2009
My reaction to this was "Why should I care?" It was interesting, but I was just not interested.
DrStrangeblog
DrStrangeblog

Super Reviewer

January 16, 2009
I assume the premise of the movie came to Woody Allen because that's exactly the duality of how he sees the world: is human existence a comedy or a tragedy? He offers that there are both sides to every story in 'Melinda and Melinda.'

Uncharacteristically, I am more taken with Woody's drama tale this time, with Radha Mitchell in excellent form as a deeply troubled former Park Avenue society wife now trying to get her anxiety-riddled life back on track. On the lighter half, Will Farrell comes off as a rather feeble Woody Allen substitute, filled with the same neuroses and stammerings that defined the director's onscreen image. But then Woody could not fill that role at the age of 70 in this context, so he was wise to seek another actor but the casting just didn't work. There are other problems with casting in one of Woody's lightest-weighted ensembles.

There are still some good laughs from a few sharp lines and some heart-tugging developments. Am very glad I watched it and worth a look particularly for Radha Mitchell's efforts in a double role, but there are many Woody films that you need to watch more urgently.
Page 1 of 48
Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile