Jeff Smith 6:35 p.m., June 27
Remember this indescribably perfect pair of street strangers that Woody Allen solicits advice from in Annie Hall:
She's very shallow and empty and has no ideas or anything interesting to say and he's exactly the same way. Give these characters French accents and a feature all their own and you'll have some idea what Paris-Manhattan is like.
Once again proving my theory that imitation is indeed the sincerest form of failure, writer, director Sophie Lellouche fashions a romantic comedy motivated by her all encompassing love for Woody Allen.
The striking Alice Taglioni stars as a Parisian pharmacist named Alice, but it could just as easily have been Hannah, Annie, or Sue Kiyaki. The statuesque beauty, who just can't seem to find the right fella (yawn), partakes in Play it Again, Sam-ish conversations with a poster of Allen. At first the voiceovers appear to have been lifted from Woody's movies, but the clarity of the sound and "old Groucho" tone in Woody's voice suggest they were recently recorded.
After Hélène (Marine Delterme) claims her older sister's date for her husband, Alice falls for a handsome electrician named Virgil (it could just as easily have been Boris, Kleinman, or Sperm) played by Patrick Bruel.
Lellouche's biggest score is landing a cameo appearance by the man of her dreams, thus making the movie a must-see for Allen completists. The rest of you can stay home.
Paris-Manhattan is currently playing at the Digital Gym on the same double-bill with Masha Vasyukova's documentary short, Woody Before Allen (2011). It's a tale of two Konigsbergs as Vasyukova brings together Woody, born Allen Stewart Konigsberg, and a Russian city that once bore the name. Again, Woody puts in an appearance, this time via cellphone transcription.
What did I learn from watching these two pictures? If you're young, tall, speak with an accent, and are easy on the eyes, Woody Allen will be in your movie!
Reader Rating for both films: One Star apiece
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