Far from Allen's best, but enjoyable enough
Much like MATCH POINT, there is a crime involved and the psychological complications that result. But where the inadequacies in planning and production of the act were tantalizing in the former film, here they just feel like carelessness. Even the set-up of the plot has glaringly obvious complications. But if the viewer is willing to accept these faults, the film becomes much more enjoyable. After all, the point of the film appears to be irony (the word itself is muttered many times), maybe it’s all part of Allen’s master plan. Indeed, so many integral plot points veer between laziness in writing and execution and apparent intentional stupidity. Yet as the film winds down to its close, it becomes more focused on family (the other big point of the film) and it is all the better for it. The final sequence, though plagued by a disappointing “tell-don’t-show” epilogue, is the most suspenseful part of the film by far.
For once, no one takes on the “Woody Allen” role- there are no comically neurotic characters stuttering over every word. Unfortunately, this leads to a parade of endlessly serious people, so the absence of the wannabe neurotic is a mixed blessing. Allen’s once unmatchable dialogue also sputters and falters here; this may be the only film you see this year where two adults describe having sex as “doing it”. But the film is performed admirably on all counts, minus Colin Farrell’s tendency to overact (only when he is speaking, of course). Most intriguing are the film’s lead actresses, newcomer Atwell and the charming Sally Hawkins as Terry’s girlfriend. Both are relegated to strictly supporting roles and are sadly two-dimensional. Yet they craft the most complex portrayals, and the viewer often longs for their appearance.
Full review at http://newmanscorner.blogspot.com