Saturday, September 12, 2009


Celebrity; Tragicomedy, USA, 1998; D: Woody Allen, S: Kenneth Branagh, Judy Davis, Joe Mantegna, Famke Janssen, Melanie Griffith, Winona Ryder, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hank Azaria, Debra Messing

A movie is being shot while reporter Lee Simon mingles with the crew to make connections. He is constantly making interviews with famous movie stars and when he asks actress Nicole Oliver to show him her old house, she becomes intimate with him. Simon also has a screenplay about a heist and thus talks with teen star Brandon to help him realize it. Simon's ex-girlfriend Robin quit her job as a teacher to become a reporter whereas she even found happiness with producer Tony. Simon's new girlfriend, in an act of jealousy, throws his script into the sea so he remains stuck as a reporter.

The best part of "Celebrity" is the beginning where the airplane writes the word "HELP" on the screen while the people are confused by it. Even the rest of the story has an occasionally funny joke ("Sometimes I have a nostalgia for religion") but it's at the same time also empty, with too much empty babble that seems to be written just because the characters have to talk and has too many useless supporting characters which remain underused. Woody Allen also made a mistake in the commercial sense: he shouldn't have shot the film in black and white when he had such popular actors at his disposal, like Leonardo DiCaprio and Melanie Griffith. Leaving the irrelevant box office results aside, "Celebrity" doesn't hassle as some Allen films since it's shrill, but not nearly as imaginative as his previous "Deconstructing Harry".


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