Rating: 3.5 stars
When it comes to the more recent works of Woody Allen, we film critics have begun to rely on a standard script. There’s the “he’s washed up!” line that came on the heels of such disappointments as Hollywood Ending and Anything Else. There’s the “it’s not half bad but he’ll never be truly great again” line that followed efforts like Melinda and Melinda and Sweet and Low Down. There is the “Woody’s back!” line that came breathlessly after Match Point.
I suspect that there will be more “He’s back!” enthusiam with Woody’s new film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Such praise will be followed by more lines from the Woody review script: “Scarlett Johannson is his new muse!” (Oh yeah? Then how do you explain Scoop?) “He’s so energized by these foreign locations!” (Hmmm, then why was Cassandra’s Dream such a flop?)
So let’s try to avoid knee-jerk responses to his new work. Here’s how I see Woody today. He’s not as funny as early Woody,...