Paris-manhattan W/woody Before Allen (2013)
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Critic Reviews for Paris-manhattan W/woody Before Allen
Certainly a charming and genial tribute to Allen, it just isn't quite as accomplished or ingenious as his work.
Audience Reviews for Paris-manhattan W/woody Before Allen
Alice (Taglioni) is a thirty-something, socially awkward, Parisian, obsessed with the films of Woody Allen. On her bedroom wall hangs a poster of the film-maker, and she imagines him speaking to her through snippets of dialogue from his films (voiced by a French Allen imitator whose attempt at a Brooklyn accent sounds more like Tony Soprano). She's dating the suave but slimy Vincent (Soulier), who pretends to share her taste in movies and music to keep her interested. Victor (Bruel), on the other hand, openly mocks her taste but is genuinely interested in Alice. Who will she choose?
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say. If, however, you possess none of the talent of the object of your flattery, you'll end up looking pretty dumb. Two things are made clear about writer-director Lellouche from this dreadful and charmless film: she loves Woody Allen and she isn't qualified to write the dosage instructions on a Lemsip packet, never mind a feature film.
The concept is essentially a reworking of the Allen scripted, Herbert Ross directed 'Play it Again Sam', with an imaginary Bogart replaced by a poster of Allen. The problem is, while Ross' film was a comedy which referenced Film Noir, Lellouche is referencing comedy through comedy. Her film is painfully unfunny, with none of the wit or insight you get from Allen's movies. The effect is akin to watching Bernard Manning perform a Larry David stand-up routine.
I found myself scratching my head at several points, trying to piece together what on earth I was watching. There are sub-plots which go nowhere and several scenes which confused me as to whether they were meant to be flashbacks or not. Bits of 'Hannah and Her Sisters' and 'Manhattan Murder Mystery' are clumsily reworked in a confusing manner. Allen wouldn't wipe his ass with this script.
Taglioni, a leggy Elle MacPherson lookalike, is ludicrously miscast as a nebbish and the only character who feels real is her father, the type of put-upon Jewish father who turns up regularly in Allen's movies.
The great man makes a cameo towards the end but it's not enough to redeem the film, even for the most hardcore of his fans. The greatest insult Lellouche gives Allen is in suggesting his best film is 'Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex', his most moronic comedy. Thank God for the French? Not this time.
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