Melinda and Melinda | Chicago Reader

Melinda and Melinda

Two theater people in lower Manhattan (Wallace Shawn and Larry Pine) argue about whether the story of a troubled single woman named Melinda (Radha Mitchell) qualifies as tragedy or comedy, and writer-director Woody Allen cuts between the tragic and comic versions, with different locales, characters, and plot details. But the tragic version isn't very painful and the comic version, aside from a few one-liners, isn't very funny. This is mainly a narrative brainteaser like Memento or The Jacket; merely keeping up with the game requires so much energy that the thinness of the material becomes fully apparent only toward the end. With Will Ferrell, Chloe Sevigny, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jonny Lee Miller, Amanda Peet, and Brooke Smith. PG-13, 100 min.

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