Woody Allen is once again a comic god. Hollywood Ending is funnier than anything he’s made in years. The script is sophisticated, well-plotted but Allen has still found ways to positively stuff the dialog with jokes and use the hysterical blindness for some terrific physical humor as well. Plus he drapes the sets with some incredibly luscious women who are also fine actors–Tea Leoni, Tiffany Thiessen, Debra Messing, and Jodie Markell not counting the unnamed extras.
The interplay between Allen and the Chinese translator (Barney Cheng) is priceless. The translator, a local business student, has no future film interest so he says things that no one concerned with repercussions would. Likewise, the scene where Allen attempts to make up with his estranged punk rock musician son ScumbagX (nee Tony), as he stutters and blusters his way past the green spiked hair, the many piercings, and the rat eating that’s part of ScumbagX’s stage act. Mark Rydell, who’s usually on the other side of the camera as the director (On Golden Pond, The Rose), is a natural playing Woody’s agent.