Melinda and Melinda


“This is my funny face.”

Fox Searchlight presents a film written and directed by Woody Allen. Running time: 99 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for adult situations involving sexuality and some substance material).


A lot of ideas sound great in the bathroom or in conversation during their initial conception. There’s a joy in conception that I think most people know about. Upon reflection or after realization the idea may lose its meaning and seem a lot less that what it should have been. This can happen for any number of reasons. Lack of talent, poor vision, laziness or a lack of understanding for the material.


The idea concerning this film is to take an anecdote and interpret it two ways, comically and tragically. It’s an interesting idea, but there are pitfalls that would trip up most writers in its realization. When dealing in comedy a sudden shift to heavy subject matter can and will often result in an ill intended chuckle. Mood and expectations are the antagonist of filmmakers and the more talented you are the greater, in number, your antagonists become.


Woody Allen has his share of antagonists, in more ways than one. I for one am a great admirer of his dialogue and was completely and pleasantly surprised with the success of the comedy of Melinda and Melinda and the tragedy. This film works for all the reasons that it couldn’t work in lesser hands. He is remarkably talented, he has vision, he’s not lazy or he just got lucky and he understands the material in each story line.


This film is a remarkable achievement and apart from Woody the credit lies solely on Radha Mitchell. Her performance, especially in the tragedy, was so convincing where it could have been melodramatic and so subtle when it could have seemed over the top. This performance deserves remembrance, but surely won’t, due to its early release and mixed reviews. Too bad because this is Woody returning in top form.


The previous sentence lends itself to a multitude of pun interpretations. One of which is a Woody (male genitalia) “top form” (erection). This is indeed funny, intendedly so, but consider the alternative. Woody (writer/director) “top form” (made a movie worthy of his good name).


“This is my serious face.”

~ by fumikaelson on May 22, 2005.

One Response to “Melinda and Melinda”

  1. I don’t get the woody puns. What is an erection? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

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