Melinda And Melinda (Woody Allen) - 2004

Woody demonstrates his skill at writing and directorial gymnastics with this movie that intertwines two stories, one a tragedy and the other a comedy.  The central character is nutty Melinda (Radha Mitchell) who arrives unannounced by bus in the rain.  Melinda wants to be an art historian but she really needs to find the right man to replace her cheating husband who she killed with a bullet.  Wallace Shawn (comedy) and Larry Pine (tragedy) play the two writers who are telling Melinda's stories.  Woody proves his point that similar story components can be used to make either a sad tragedy or an amusing comedy with a happy ending.  But who really cares?  Movie historians will appreciate this exercise for years to come.  [JAM 12/29/2010]

["... the comedy part of it was not a problem for me in any way.  You know, the guy likes the girl, he's downstairs and he takes her out and he's jealous, he's nervous; it's just simple as pie to me.  But the dramatic part, I'm hoping when I write it - I'm having fun writing it - that it is going to have the effect I want.  I got lucky in that film.  I got an actress who said the material the way I heard it in my mind's ear, so I felt good about that.  But I don't know what the effect's going to be when you just look at ten straight lines in a row.  I don't know if anybody's going to enjoy it or get with it or be moved by it or get caught up in it - or think, Hey, when does this end so we can eat?"  Conversations with Woody Allen - May 2005]