The executives at Hollywood’s Galaxie Studio go on a kamikaze mission straight to the unemployment line when they give $60 million production dollars to two-time Oscar winner Val Waxman (three-time Oscar winner Woody Allen). If your film is titled The Streets of New York why not give final cut to a man who has those streets in his marrow? So goes the tedious self-reflexivity of Allen’s Hollywood Ending. Though it’s rather humbling to see the Woodster acknowledge his limited appeal it’s not until the film’s Hollywood ending that he gives Tinseltown the big finger. Galaxie exec Ellie (Tea Leoni) wants to give ex-hubby Waxman a blockbuster hit though it’s anyone’s guess how a shoddy gangster neo-noir with a no-name cast snags a $60 million budget, let alone a has-been, neurotic auteur director. Past the ho-hum auto-critique, you’ll still need to dodge one shrill girlie companion (Debra Messing) and Woody-reductive references to artistic masturbation before the film’s cutesy, yet fleeting, psychosomatic-blindness gimmick kicks in (note to Hollywood: someone hire scene-stealer Barney Cheng quick!). If you’ve followed Woody throughout the years, you might grow weary of the all the tongue-in-cheek ribbing; while he pokes fun at his taste for foreign cinematographers, Allen remains less concerned with the look of his film-within-a-film than he is with the vaudeville incommunicado between races. Hollywood Ending‘s passive Hollywood ending never really takes jabs at studios like DreamWorks for throwing their money away on auteur filmmakers like Waxman nor does it ever champion their inexplicable ability to pull the wool over big studio eyes. A xenophobic Allen may have French appeal but what if the French are just more forgiving of his dull post-Husbands and Wives output?
- Woody Allen
- Woody Allen
- Woody Allen, George Hamilton, Tea Leoni, Debra Messing, Mary Rydell, Treat Williams, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Barney Cheng, Neal Huff, Erica Leerhsen, Jeff Mazzola, Fred Melamed, Stephanie Roth, Peter Van Wagner, Mark Webber
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: