Two playwrights argue over whether life is inherently tragic or comic. To illustrate their point, they each tell the tale of Melinda (Radha Mitchell) who unexpectedly bursts in on a dinner party, creating all kinds of romantic complications. The film then alternates between the two stories. The set-up could hardly be more utterly Woody Allen, simultaneously pretentious and shallow. One story is comic (with Will Ferrell taking Allen’s usual role), the other is tragic, but you’d be hard-presse… to tell the difference. All the characters spout the same kind of incredibly stilted and self-conscious dialogue, which is neither funny nor revealing. The result is a halfway interesting idea with a talented cast outgunned by their God-playing director. Based on the evidence at hand, it turns out that life is, in fact, inherently boring.
Mono? Yup, we have a mono soundtrack here for a 2005 release. One must assume this is an artistic decision of Allen’s, the purpose being, one imagines, to highlight the dialogue and prevent us from getting lost in sound effects. Mission accomplished, as far as it goes. The music is still very rich-sounding, for a mono track, but surprisingly the dialogue does occasionally suffer from a bit of sibilance.
The picture looks good. It comes in both fullsceen and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen aspects. The colours, contrasts, blacks and flesh tones are all very strong, and there is no grain or visible edge enhancement. There is a tiny bit of ghosting visible in some reds, but otherwise, this is a fine looking transfer.
Nothing except a trailer for Separate Lies. The menu’s main screen and intro are animated and scored.
Mono sound, no extras, and a flat, self-important film. Not exactly a night out.
Special Features List