At dinner with friends in a Greenwhich Village restaurant, two playwrights, one tragic (Larry Pine), and one comic (Wallace Shawn), offer alternate versions of the same story: Melinda (Radha Mitchell), a distraught young woman, shows up, unannounced, at a dinner party held by old friends and intrudes upon their lives. The dramatic framework of Woody Allens new movie is ambitious, but an odd sort of indifference or blindness seems to have overcome him during production. Mitchell is surrounded by different actors in each version, but its surprisingly hard to tell the two stories apart. The general atmosphere of both stories and even some of the characters are very similar: both are set in Woodyland, that familiar elegant fantasy version of Manhattan, impeccably furnished, with no brightness, no neon, no pop culture anywhere, and the characters are largely a nattering, trivial, shallowly self-serving bunch. Mitchell is a fine young actress, but Allen pushes her so far into the fidgets that one rather dreads her next appearance. One leaves with such sour thoughts as, The inability to pull oneself together is neither tragic nor comic; its just a waste of energy.

The New Yorker

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Address Films in English or original language See daily press for programmes Alcazar Via Merry del Val 14, tel. 065880099. In original language on Monday Cineclub Detour Via Urbana 47/a, tel. 064872368. In original language when available Filmstudio

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Melinda and Melinda.

Films in English or original language See daily press for programmes Alcazar Via Merry del Val 14, tel. 065880099. In original language on Monday Cineclub Detour Via Urbana 47/a, tel. 064872368. In original language when available Filmstudio