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“‘You’ll laugh till it hurts’ (Rolling Stone) watching comedy superstar Will Ferrell lead a talented ensemble cast in this innovative and seriously funny film. Legendary writer/director Woody Allen tells a woman’s story twice – once as a comedy, once as a drama. When emotionally desperate Melinda (Radha Mitchell) crashes a Manhattan dinner party, the chaos that ensues leads to romantic temptations and unexpected love affairs. Ferrell delivers a laugh-out-loud performance as a neurotic, out-of-work actor who falls for Melinda’s quirky charms.”
“Melinda and Melinda” is rated PG-13 for adult situations involving sexuality, and some substance material
“Melinda and Melinda” is two films in one. It features two storytellers relating the same story with drastically different tones. One storyline features a character named Melinda in a drama. The other features Melinda in a romantic comedy. As the movie progresses, the story alternates between the two tales. Unfortunately the drama is incredibly boring and I found myself counting the minutes until it switched back to the comedy. And the only thing that made the comedy interesting was Will Ferrell. His funny lines, likable character, and lovesick persona make him about the only reason to watch this movie.
Despite my distaste for the overall film, I do recognize a few high points. Radha Mitchell is very good as Melinda from both tales. Whether a drunk with psychological issues or the romantic love interest for Ferrell, she was equally convincing. Some of the supporting roles are also well played by Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Josh Brolin. (Unfortunately a cameo by Steve Carell is totally wasted.) There are also a few really funny scenes where Ferrell picks on Josh Brolin’s affinity for big game hunting as he courts Melinda. Another scene where he attempts to spy on Melinda and her new boyfriend and gets his robe caught in a door is amusing.
The Bottom Line: