Thursday, February 12, 2015

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

IMDb plot summary: A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.
Directed by Woody Allen. Starring Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Simon McBurney and Eileen Atkins.

This is definitely not a very *good* movie. But like most of Woody Allen's less impressive comedies, I still find it likable and charming. Anyone other than Colin Firth could not have pulled off this main character -- it would have more like the unpleasantly acerbic Whatever Works. But Firth has a warmth and a dignity about him that makes him likable even when he's playing awful characters. The guy has played Mr. Darcy twice, after all, and here he delivers a proposal that's every bit as horribly narcissistic and condescending as Darcy's famous proclamation of love.

The other actors make up an interesting cast. Eileen Atkins is excellent as the wise-and-a-little-sneaky Aunt Vanessa, and Hamish Linklater is sweet as the enamored Brice, but Emma Stone is utterly forgettable as the girl at the center of the story. Firth clearly carries the show here, and she serves as more of an afterthought.

It's awkward and abrupt, and I suspect many people will find the lead too unlikable to want him to win, but I found it pleasant enough for one viewing.

2.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Magic in the Moonlight < The Fortune Cookie
Magic in the Moonlight > The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
Magic in the Moonlight > The Hidden Fortress
Magic in the Moonlight > The Paperboy
Magic in the Moonlight > Wedding Crashers
Magic in the Moonlight > Wild Hogs
Magic in the Moonlight < Stepmom
Magic in the Moonlight < My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Magic in the Moonlight > A Dangerous Method
Magic in the Moonlight > So I Married an Axe Murderer
Magic in the Moonlight > The Hurt Locker
Final spot: #1187 out of 2318.

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