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MOVIE REVIEW | ***CLOSING DOWN WEEK*** Hollywood Ending (2002)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “There’s something about it that just makes it so easy to watch.”

Hollywood 1
Recently, in my neighbourhood, I saw something that’s all too common these days. A video shop that was closing down. They had a big sign out the front, “4 movies for $10”. I looked in my wallet, saw $30 and decided I wasn’t leaving that shop until I found 12 movies I thought were worth having on my DVD shelf. Some were movies I’d seen before. Some were movies I had a vague idea about and thought would be worth the $2.50 gamble. Some were oddities I’d never even heard of, but they looked interesting enough. So, thank you, Network Video Brunswick West. I never rented anything from you or even had a membership, but I did find some cool, interesting and mysterious things on your almost empty shelves.

“Talk is what you suffer through so you can get to sex.”

Woody Allen has been around for so long and made so many movies, that he’s probably had the equivalent of four or five careers as a film maker. Complete with hits, misses, slumps and comebacks. A few years ago, I made my way through his entire filmography and liked pretty much all of it. One thing it taught me though, was that while I can enjoy dark stuff like Match Point, or serious drama like Blue Jasmine, I much prefer Woody at his silliest. And I don’t just mean his early, classic comedies like Sleeper or Bananas. I think I’m one of the few people who actually liked To Rome With Love. It’s that preference for wacky Woody that made me so quick to snap up a copy of Hollywood Ending when I saw it in the video shop’s closing down sale.

Ellie (Tea Leoni) is a Hollywood producer on the verge of making her dream project. A tribute to New York City, she’s convinced that the only person to direct it and really capture the city in all its glory is Val (Woody Allen). Once a multi Oscar winning big shot, Val has stepped on too many toes over the years and is now resorting to filming a TV commercial in a Canadian blizzard. The other reason that Val is a tough sell, is that he’s Ellie’s ex-husband. Which makes Val not too popular with the head of the studio, Hal (Treat Williams), who also happens to be Ellie’s current fiancé. (more…)