Woody Allen, USA, 2010, 98 min.
Woody Allen can make a good film without even trying. This one is engaging, entertaining and effortless. The story is the usual Allen drama. Two couples from different generations deal with marital problems, potential infidelities, and the usual dilemma’s involving love, creativity and past lives.
It’s familiar territory for the writer/director, but he knows how to write characters and how to put them in situations where we want to see how they act. They feel like real people, and the actors have a field day with the material, owning each role and making sure that the audience keeps their suspension of disbelief.
I believe Allen started writing these characters and at some point decided that he should just stop. If the film were any longer he would have had to wrap up the stories in some arbitrary manner. Ending it where he did, with some characters making huge messes of their lives and some managing to squeak by into happiness, just feels right. It lets the audience draw their own conclusions as to the consequences of the character’s decisions and why they ended up the way they did.
This film wins the award “Best Accent” for Charmaine, the prostitute played by Lucy Punch, and her lower-middle class British that is so out of place amongst the upper-class characters and their more refined dialect.