DUBBY’S DVDISCUSSION: Melinda and the Breakup
Woody Allen had a massive success with Match Point, but we could see it happening because his previous film Melinda And Melinda was better than the string of flops the famed movie maker had made recently.
Beginning at a dinner party, two playwrights tell the same story of a girl — one as a tragedy and the other as a comedy allowing the audience to see both versions.
Writes Bret Fetzer, “In Melinda and Melinda, Will Ferrell does a fine job playing Woody Allen — or at any rate, playing the fumbling, neurotic, lascivious character who appears in almost every Woody Allen movie (and is usually played by Allen himself). Hobie (Ferrell) is an unemployed actor who has fallen helplessly in love with Melinda (Radha Mitchell) — or at least with one version of Melinda, because Hobie’s comic story runs parallel with a more serious version of the same plot, in which Melinda falls in love with a composer (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Melinda and Melinda is intended to be a sort of showdown between a comic and a tragic view of the world. The movie is still a step up from Anything Else, Allen’s last effort; there are a handful of genuinely funny moments, Chloe Sevigny (as one of Melinda’s best friends) and Mitchell are particularly good, and the turns of the two-fold plot — regardless of its genre — are engaging.”
Radha Mitchell who is Melinda said, “We didn’t do any rehearsal. We had a couple of brief discussions about what we were going to do before we started shooting and he was clear that he didn’t want the characters to be completely disguised, so it sort of looks like the same person.”
Woody Allen chose Ferrell to act as Woody Allen. Says Ferrell, “He had told me this was the part he would have done had he been in the movie himself, but at the same time I figured I was cast for the abilities that I have and I should try and influence it in my way.”
Many years ago there was a tragi-comedy called The War Of The Roses where a couple would rather die than give up their beautiful house. The Break Up is not nearly as dark but it proves that Vince Vaughn is capable of going from funny to angry to serious and Jennifer Aniston can really act.
Over again to Bret Fetzer whose opinion is, “The combined star power of Vaughn and Aniston makes The Break Up a high-profile romantic comedy. Gary (Vaughn) and Brooke (Aniston) find that their brittle relationship may have reached the breaking point — but neither is willing to give up the condo they co-own. As their fighting grows increasingly bitter, neither is sure if they’re fighting to get out of the relationship or to save it. The Break Up is an odd combination of realistic scenes that capture the harsh yet human ways that lovers can hurt each other and broad comic scenes with a more farcical edge. Both types of scenes are entertaining on their own terms and the movie is never boring. The sterling supporting cast — -including Jon Favreau, Cole Hauser, Joey Lauren Adams, John Michael Higgins, Justin Long, Jason Bateman, Vincent D’Onofrio, and the ever-delirious Judy Davis — give every scene they’re in a boost of comic energy. An uneven but enjoyable movie that may suffer from viewers having overly high expectations due to Vaughn and Aniston’s celebrity.”