by guest writer,
Hollywood Ending, together with Woody Allen’s other films of the last decade, has been considered as a loss of touch by critics. Coming to argue this statement, I will quote someone who once told me: “I love movies too much to become a film critic.” I think this says it all, especially in Woody Allen’s case. The name of the movie, Hollywood Ending, was not randomly chosen and it is closely related to what the film industry has become.
Woody Allen himself plays Val Waxman, a once successful director who has fallen into disgrace and is now forced to direct TV commercials. He is finally given a chance to prove himself again and he is offered to direct a film that has all the chances to become a blockbuster. But just when the production is to begin, Val goes temporarily blind developing a case of psychosomatic condition. Now the real laugh begins, as Val is convinced by his agent to go on with the project, attempting to fool everyone that his vision in directing is as sound as his eyesight. An original and clever idea, hinting at the film-making nowadays, which makes Hollywood Ending all the more hilarious. I think one of funniest lines is at the end of the film: Val’s production is a hit in France, which makes him exclaim: “Thank God the French exist!” The connotation of this phrase goes beyond the plot and Woody Allen knows only too well what he means by that.
photo: still from the film; production credits