Melinda and Melinda

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Melinda and Melinda ★★ 2005 (PG-13)

Allen sticks to the familiar in a talky tale of Manhattanites debating the tragic and comic. Over dinner, playwright Sy (Shawn), who writes comedies, and trage-dienne Max (Pine) entertain themselves with an urban anecdote about an unhappy, neurotic woman named Melinda (Mitchell). In both stories she crashes the dinner party of friends with her tale of disaster, causing marital misunderstandings and emotional dramas. The leading males in the story are both ineffectual, unemployed actors (Miller, Ferrell) while their wives (Sevigny, Peet) are successful. And what does that say, we wonder. Or maybe we don't because, despite the talent involved, it all seems rather too precious and rarefied an atmosphere to take much interest. 99m/C DVD . US Radha Mitchell, Chloe Sevigny, Jonny Lee Miller, Will Ferrell, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Wallace Shawn; D: Woody Allen; W: Woody Allen; C: Vilmos Zsigmond.