I love Woody Allen, so already I'm biased. But even I will admit that he's been spotty for the last...my God!...twenty years or so. "Curse Of The Jade Scorpion" will forever be his lowest moment, and in his later phase "Match Point" and "Vickie Christina Barcelona" remain the highlights. Well, we can add another to that list. By no means is this movie an "Annie Hall" or a "Manhattan", let alone a "Husbands and Wives". But if you've been bored by what you've been seeing at the Multiplexes lately, if you think "The Hang-Over 2" sucked and you've despaired that the romantic comedy is dead...than I'm delighted to tell you to go see this movie right now. See it on a big screen! It's gorgeous to look at, fun to watch, romantic, sweet, smart, and pleasantly old-fashioned. This movie is not a masterpiece, and yet I'm giving it 10/10 because it was perfect for what it was -- a modest pleasure that left me in a great mood, and even a little inspired.
Let me start by saying I hadn't heard of this film until my girlfriend rented it (she's a film student at NYU). And judging by the cover and the title I had low expectations. So I was surprised to find a weird, funny, strangely beautiful movie wedged between the usual coming-of-age shenanigans. In a lot of ways it reminded me of my favorite writer, Haruki Murakami, in that the setting was banal but the plot (and I use that word loosely) was brimming with odd visual non sequiturs and tangents that were occasionally left dangling. There's a girl who has an affair with her teacher, a burning cloud of smoke, a killer in a white suit, a series of car crashes, kids who smoke everything in their kitchen to see what will get them stoned...the list goes on and on. But the thing is, it almost all works! It's almost like magic realism, albeit in a more grim, apocalyptic setting. So if you're someone who likes linear films, or films that follow all the rules, you'll probably not like this. But if you're like me and you get bored of seeing the same thing over and over, this feels pretty fresh. It definitely entertained me and stuck with me -- especially the ending. Oh yeah, and don't pay attention to the box. This movie has nothing in common with Juno or Donnie Darko (which is sci-fi, for Christ's sake). I have a feeling people latched on to that comment and let it color how they saw the story. So to sum up, I wouldn't recommend this movie to everyone, but I was moved by it and enjoyed its shaggy poetic qualities and erratic twists and turns.