Melinda and Melinda

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20th Century Fox Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Woody Allen
Released:
2004
Rating:
PG-13
Melinda and Melinda is a 2005 drama/comedy from Academy Award-winning writer/director Woody Allen (Annie Hall, The Purple Rose of Cairo) and starring Radha Mitchell, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Will Ferrell, Amanda Peet, and Chloe Sevigny in a story about two playwrights in a debate about whether human life is essentially comic or tragic. Each playwright offers a different take on a simple story—a woman, Melinda, interrupts a dinner party when she knocks on the front door. Each writer takes this premise and uses it to spin a tale to convince the other that the story is essentially comic or tragic. Mitchell plays Melinda, who is joined by Ferrell, Peet, and Steve Carrell in the comedy, and Ejiofor, Sevigny, and Johnny Lee Miller in the tragedy. Melinda and Melinda is an intriguing meditation on the nature of life from one of cinema's most-celebrated auteurs, whose long career has proven a balance exists between comedy and tragedy.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety Deborah Young

    Radha Mitchell stirs memories of complex Allen heroines from Annie Hall on down, even if the action is dispersed via a larger ensemble cast which he currently favors.

  • 70

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    As he (Allen) interweaves two versions of the Melinda story, one meant to be bathed in pathos, the other sprinkled with whimsy, it becomes apparent that his notions of comedy and t...

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    Allen's view of what's "deeply real" feels ever more deeply bogus as the movie progresses, his trademark wit having calcified into pastiche and unintended self-parody.

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Romantic Comedy