Melinda and Melinda Reviews
While out to dinner, four friends discuss comedy vs tragedy as a part of life. Two of them, both playwrights, decide to tell the story of the same person, Melinda. One will tell it as a comedy, the other as a tragedy.
Clever, original comedy-drama, written and directed by Woody Allen. Quite profound and thought-provoking in how it examines a story, and life in general, from two angles.
Great work by Radha Mitchell as Melinda (and Melinda).
The film received mostly mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film received 51% positive reviews, based on 144 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 54 out of 100, based on 40 reviews. Leonard Maltin gives the film two stars, calling it "meandering," with "echoes... of earlier, better Allen movies".
Melinda and Melinda opened on March 18, 2005, in one New York City cinema, where it grossed $74,238 in its first three days, the 21st highest limited release opening in Hollywood history. In weekend two, it expanded to 95 theatres to gross $740,618, seeing its per screen average nosedive to $7,795.
Overseas, it grossed an additional $16,259,545, bringing its worldwide total to $20,085,825.
Woody Allen said in Conversations with Woody Allen that he wanted to cast Winona Ryder in the title role. He had to replace her with Radha Mitchell because no one would insure Ryder due to her arrest for shoplifting - this would have made it impossible to obtain a film completion bond. Allen stated he was sad because he had written the part for Ryder after working with her on Celebrity. In the same interview, he also claimed to have intended Ferrell's part for Robert Downey, Jr., but, again, insurance got in the way due to Downey's history of arrests and drug abuse.
Radha Mitchell plays Melinda in both versions. ChloŽ Sevigny, Jonny Lee Miller, and Chiwetel Ejiofor star with her in the tragedy, while Will Ferrell and Amanda Peet star with her in the comedy. Steve Carell has a small part as Ferrell's friend.
The film also stars Wallace Shawn (alluding to his dinner-philosophy argument in My Dinner with Andre) as the comic playwright, Larry Pine as the tragedian, and Brooke Smith as Cassie. All three had appeared in the 1994 film Vanya on 42nd Street, directed by Louis Malle.
The cast includes:
Radha Mitchell as Melinda
ChloŽ Sevigny as Laurel
Jonny Lee Miller as Lee
Will Ferrell as Hobie
Amanda Peet as Susan
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Ellis
Wallace Shawn as Sy
Josh Brolin as Greg
Vinessa Shaw as Stacey
Steve Carell as Walt
Arija Bareikis as Sally
Matt Servitto as Jack
Zak Orth as Peter
Brooke Smith as Cassie
Daniel Sunjata as Billy
Larry Pine as Max
Andy Borowitz as Doug
man this is such a really really powerful drama movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie.....man this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch......man this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch.....I think that this is such a really really funny movie 2 watch, but it is such a really sad movie 2 watch as well.....man this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie.....its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.....man this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie.......