Hollywood Ending
dir. Allen
Opens Fri May 3

I think at some point, most writers make the mistake of thinking every detail of their own life is incredibly interesting and should be the primary focus of their work. I certainly did. Hopefully, writers who are lost in this arrogant mess will be confronted by a good editor, who will inform them that their lives are just as boring as everyone else's, and no one wants to read about them.

Either Woody Allen has not yet met this editor or, more likely, he has been ignoring the droves of critics, actors, and audience members who have been snoring through the last ten years of his fictional/autobiographical films. His latest, Hollywood Ending, is no exception. Woody Allen plays a washed-up film director, stuck directing deodorant commercials and meanwhile, sleeping with young chicks whom he could never actually snag in real life.

But then, Woody gets his big opportunity to make a comeback with a fantastic little film about New York, perfect for Woody's cosmopolitan style. Trouble is, he'll be working for his ex-wife (Téa Leoni), who he's still in love with, and her new, super-cheesy Beverly Hills husband. He nevertheless accepts the directing job, and the predictable, not-funny antics ensue.

On the day before they are supposed to begin filming, Woody goes psychosomatically blind, but decides to keep directing anyway. This doesn't work too well, and he falls off of sets, runs into things, and misses opportunities to sleep with cast members because of his ailment. By the end, the ex-wife is roped into the whole disaster, and Woody and the ex-wife are working together to deceive the new husband. You can imagine what happens after that.

It's not that the storyline mimics Woody Allen's life; it's that Woody Allen as the lead character is playing himself--a boring, washed-up director who's been doing the same schtick for ten years. The reason no one likes him is because he's washed up, and exposing that does not make it any more interesting. It would probably be better if he went and did some deodorant commercials.