By Jack Rico
The 1-4-0: Beware of this all-star cast, Woody Allen wanna-be bait which will steal your time and money and leave you with a dreadful scowl.
The Gist: An ex-call girl who is now a rising Hollywood actress explains to a reporter how a Broadway director changed her life for the better.
What Works: If you like Woody Allen movies, then you might have an appreciation for Peter Bogdanovich’s comedy here. The New York City imagery is charming, the performances are convincing and entertaining, but much like Allen’s flops, this film has the power cast, but the shortcomings of a lifeless, cliched, and overdrawn script.
What Doesn’t Work: Whenever you have a film directed by a revered indie film director such as Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon), executive produced by master director Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, plus, an all-star cast composed of names such as Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Cybill Shepherd, Imogen Poots, Will Forte, Rhys Ifans, Lucy Punch, Eugene Levy, Tatum O’Neal, Debi Mazar, Michael Shannon and Richard Lewis amongst others, you’re expecting a film headed to the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress. That regrettably is nothing but a propitious dream with She’s Funny That Way.
You know, it’s funny how many times you find screenwriters who think their every word surpasses all others and how their script is almost holy. I’m sure that’s what the screenwriters of this film, Peter Bogdanovich and Louise Stratten were thinking since this bloated mess needed massive editing and a set of fresh eyes. To say the film was uninteresting is an understatement. The story seemed way too familiar, the misadventures of our protagonist are mundane and lack excitement, there is no unique, stylistic voice to be allured by and the result is a waste of grand talent and a soporific time at the theater
Pay or Nay: Nay. This movie had great potential, but it never fulfilled any of it. Ignore the seductive glow of the film and trust that She’s Funny That Way feels more of a exhumed, dusty Woody Allen script from the 90’s that never saw the light of day for good reason. If you want to see a legitimately great Allen Broadway film, feast your eyes on Bullets Over Broadway. It’s Allen at his most cleverest.
Rated: R for some language including sexual references.
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Screenplay: Peter Bogdanovich, Louise Stratten
Director(s): Peter Bogdanovich
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Cybill Shepherd, Imogen Poots, Will Forte, Rhys Ifans, Lucy Punch, Eugene Levy, Tatum O’Neal, Debi Mazar, Michael Shannon, Richard Lewis
Film Genre: Comedy
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