Broadway Danny Rose

Rated PG 84 minutes

Woody Allen attends to his neglected lovability factor in this tiny, anecdotal comedy (1984) about a fifth-rate theatrical agent who gets mixed up with a tough, bouffanted Mafia moll (Mia Farrow). It seems meant to recapture Allen's lost audience: the verbal wit is fast and frequently hilarious, and the grating self-pity that has come to mar his films has been tempered. Still, Allen can't resist building monuments to his moral superiority: once again he has cast himself as the only unfailingly right character in a world populated by weaklings and opportunists (structurally, the film is indistinguishable from the unbearable Stardust Memories). But Allen has a real find in Nick Apollo Forte, who plays a randy, overweight Italian singer (he's like a corrupt teddy bear), and Allen's static, long-take camera style shows signs of developing some dramatic effectiveness. With Sandy Baron.

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