Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1996. Miramax, Buena Vista Pictures, Magnolia Productions, Sweetland Films. Screenplay by Woody Allen. Cinematography by Carlo Di Palma. Produced by Robert Greenhut. Production Design by Santo Loquasto. Costume Design by Jeffrey Kurland. Film Editing by Susan E. Morse. Golden Globe Awards 1996.
Woody Allen pays tribute to the classic musical genre but does not come up with anything overly memorable. Socialites and convicts, tourists and lovers abound in this tale that takes place in New York, Venice and Paris and features a star-studded cast who all perform with exceptional vigour and sing with even more aplomb. Drew Barrymore and Edward Norton are lovers thwarted by Barrymore’s sudden attraction to an ex-convict (Tim Roth), Allen is attracted to Julia Roberts and gets his daughter (a terrible Natasha Lyonne) to find out information about her that he can use to woo her, and Alan Alda and Goldie Hawn are parents of Lyonne, Barrymore, Lukas Haas, Gaby Hoffmann and Natalie Portman, who are happily married while dealing with the many problems their children seem to be facing. Gorgeously photographed like a candy-coloured forties musical, the film is rife with classic songs like ‘I’m Through With Love’ and ‘Makin’ Whoopee’, and the choreography by Graciela Daniele is excellent, but the musical selections could have been scored better instead of being sporadically thrown into a rather weak story.