Hollywood Ending

If you like your Woody Allen straight-up, with no Bergman or Fellini fillers, Hollywood Ending will hit the spot. This is vintage Woody comedic fare, complete with the director's trademark slapshtick thrown in. In this, Woody Allen plays the neurotically difficult, washed-up Oscar-winning director, Val Waxman, who is reduced to making TV commercials in the Canadian frigid north. He gets a second career chance from his ex-wife producer Ellie (Téa Leoni), if he will direct a new picture with her and her current paramour Hal (Treat Williams), the studio chief who wooed her from him. Complications arise when Val goes blind (psychosomatically) and schemes to hide his ailment without arousing suspicion from the cast and crew. The comedy situations are certifiably laugh-out-loud as Allen effortlessly spins the clever o­ne-liners to the audience's delight ("I would kill for this job. But the people I'd want to kill are offering me the job"). Debra Messing (of TV's Will and Grace) performs a droll turn as Lori, Val's dishy, but ditsy wannabe actress girlfriend, as does the rest of the ensemble (Mark Rydell, Tiffani Amber-Thiessen) including the über-tanned and surgically camera-readied George Hamilton, as a Hollywood-insider variation of himself. Hollywood Ending is substantial good humour, without any additives.

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