Hollywood Ending


Comedy / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Téa Leoni Photo
Téa Leoni as Ellie
Woody Allen Photo
Woody Allen as Val
Tiffani Thiessen Photo
Tiffani Thiessen as Sharon Bates
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.01 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S ...
1.87 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rmax3048237 / 10

Good Woody

This one, unlike many of Woody's pieces over the past decade or so, is neither a failed comedy nor a dullish drama. It's pretty funny all the way through and lacks any pretense of being otherwise. I won't go into the story except to repeat that Woody is a film director here, given a last chance, trying to direct a remake of a 1940s film. He suddenly suffers from hysterical blindness and must make the movie without seeing any of the performances, the rushes, the production design, the promotional material, or anything else. His agent is the only one in on the secret. They enlist the help of a Chinese translator to act as Woody's guide around the set and the rest of the world, but the translator is fired by the Chinese cameraman. So the agent must spill the beans to Woody's separated wife who then acts as her husband's eyes. It all ends happily.

This is a consistently amusing movie. There is even the occasional pratfall that hasn't been seen in a Woody movie for a long time. There are, to be sure, serious undertones that surface from time to time, but they lie lightly on the narrative line. One of these is the still-fuzzy relationship between Woody and his separated wife, Tia Leoni, who is engaged now to Treat Williams, grown bulky and authoritative. The other theme deals with Woody's relationship with his son, Tony. Tony has joined a rock band, if that's the term. His hair is a sickly dark green piled up in an improbable sculpture atop his head, like a Yurok Indian's. He eat rats on stage and has changed his name from Tony Waxman to ScumbagX. Tony once threw his father down a flight of stairs. But, "That was then," says Tony, easily forgiving himself, "and it was stupid." Tony doesn't have the funniest lines in the movie but in one way he gives the most interesting performance in the movie, because he's just about the only actor (not including the two Chinese) who doesn't speak the way Woody does. The nervous mannerisms we've come to recognize are all here in everyone else, and they're funny too, because they fit the characters so well. (They were appropriate to his character in "Broadway Danny Rose," too. And as they weren't when Branaugh used them in "Celebrity.") Here, just about everybody's got them. Hardly a sentence is completed with someone else interrupting or the sentence itself wandering off into space, lost, having forgotten its own beginning. I didn't bother to do a content analysis of the dialog but if "y'know?" isn't the most common utterance I'd be kind of surprised. Stuttering is endemic to the cast. People ask, "Whaddaya mean?" And somebody replies, "Whaddaya mean, whaddo I mean?" Hands flutter as if with lives of their own. The blind Woody praises a promotional poster for the film while admiring its blank back.

He himself is older here, noticeably, but not depressingly. His hair is now gray and his bald patch more pronounced. But he's in good shape and his wit is keen. He plays the blind man in a hilariously exaggerated fashion -- never looking directly at the person he's conversing with, constantly holding his open palms up in front of his chest as if carrying an invisible pumpkin. A writer from "Esquire" tells him fawningly how much she's enjoyed his work while taking notes for a tell-all scandalous hatchet-job about everyone involved in the production, kind of like the number Lillian Ross did on Hemingway for the New Yorker profile or on Huston's "Red Badge of Courage". Unluckily, she wears the same perfume as his wife and, thinking he's talking with Leoni, Allen tells her everything. And it isn't as if the whole film depends on the odd one-liner, although those one-liners are there too. (After regaining his sight, Woody views for the first time the footage he's shot, and he looks stricken. "Call Doctor Kavorkian," he says slowly.) The premise is absurd, of course. No one could pass himself off as sighted under these conditions. But joke follows joke unerringly, sometimes building on one another. Before an important meeting with the film's producer, his wife takes him to the guy's apartment to familiarize him with the layout. This way, you see, he will know where the chair is located, the desk, and the other items of furniture. She tries to be as helpful as possible. While he's wringing his hands in the doorway, she paces off distances in the apartment, telling him, "Okay, now you enter through the door and walk four steps. Then the chair is on your right. But, okay, if Hal is sitting there, you'll take two more steps. Now you turn to the left because that's where the sofa is, but watch out for the lamp." Woody anxiously repeats her instructions -- "watch out for the lamp, and the sofa is, two more paces, no four -- okay -- and then turn left." The instructions become impossibly complicated and confusing and Woody is gripping his head trying to remember them, until everything begins to break down, including the editing, and we get sequences that might have come out of that movie in which Danny Kaye has to remember that "the poison is in the pellet of the picture of the peacock and the flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true." Meanwhile Woody is stumbling around with those forearms stretched before him and a blank gaze, one of Baron von Frankenstein's rejects. During the actual interview he manages to sit on the lamp. You really ought to see this one if you are in the mood for laughs because it's a thoroughly successful comedy.

Reviewed by blanche-28 / 10

I got a big kick out of this film

I admit to being a big Woody Allen fan; when I was in college, I went to a Woody Allen movie - Play it Again, Sam - and all around me, people were laughing like hyenas. I had no idea what was funny. Now I don't know how I ever thought that.

"Hollywood Ending" is a 2002 film from the prolific Allen, and he gives it to Hollywood but good. He plays a neurotic, hypochondriacal film director named Val who can't get arrested thanks to being so difficult. But in a conference about a film, The City that Never Sleeps, his ex-wife Ellie (Tea Leoni),in charge of development, is positive that he would be the best man for the job. She is shot down by everyone, including her current producer boyfriend Yeager (Treat Williams) but she manages to convince him to at least meet with Val.

Val loathes Yeager and he doesn't want to have anything to do with him or Ellie but he's just come home from a Canadian winter shoot for a deodorant commercial, from which he was fired, and he's desperate. His long-suffering agent Al (Mark Rydell) gets him the deal, and Val is hired.

The night before the shoot, Val calls Al, in the middle of a Seder, and demands he come over. He's blind. Al gets him to a doctor but there's nothing wrong with Val's eyes. He can't lose the job, so Al goes with him to the set, but is thrown out by Ed (George Hamilton). Al suggests that he find a confidant who can see him through the film. Since Val has demanded a Chinese cameraman who doesn't speak English, the translator needs to be around, so he helps Val out. But Val is going to need a lot more help than the translator.

I found the premise and the whole movie quite funny, with some great dialogue and good acting from everyone, including Debra Messing, who plays Val's current bimbo girlfriend, whom he casts in the film.

The movie would have been better if Allen had actually attempted to cover up the fact that Val is blind rather than acting just like a blind man. The fact that no one noticed is ridiculous. When someone speaks to him, he looks the opposite way, and he stares straight ahead, and he needs help walking.

All in all, I really enjoyed it. It's not his best; it's not his worst. Some very funny scenes and filled with wit.

Reviewed by mattymatt4ever7 / 10

I thought it was funny

Before the film came out, I read some reviews saying that they felt Woody was back in top form, but now I'm reading reviews that say otherwise. I guess many people feel that in the case of a greatly talented filmmaker like Woody, after wooing audiences with his earlier works like "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan," there's nowhere left to go but down. So whenever people bash his films, they don't bash them in the same way they would the next SNL-inspired dud. They bash them even more brutally simply because he's Woody and they can't help but expect more from him.

"Hollywood Ending" is no gem, with moments that obviously drag, but I felt it worked. It's an excellent premise for a farcical comedy, and it played out fluently. My only criticism about the "blind" element of the film dealt with Woody's performance. Each scene where he talks to someone, he purposely turns away from that person. He was obviously trying way too hard to stress the fact that his character's blind (I guess in case the audience somehow forgot halfway through). People who are blind actually have a strong sense of hearing. Like the comic book character of Daredevil, their other four senses are heightened. When they're first faced with the blindness, it's hard to cope, but after a short while they get used to it.

Like most of Woody's films, the cast is an ensemble of multi-talented actors who each contribute more than their own five cents into the work. There was even an funny unbilled cameo by Isaac Mizrahi. A lot of people project snobbery upon Woody's recent work, but I happened to enjoy this movie very much, and the same goes with "Small-Time Crooks" and "Curse of the Jade Scorpion." As long as you don't proceed with gigantic expectations, you should have a lot of fun.

My score: 7 (out of 10)

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