A reporter (Illeana Douglas), that starts by making sure she does not believe in magic, sits in a café ready to hear the story of actress Isabella Patterson (Imogen Poots). However, she’s not quite ready for what’s being told and afterwards she’s not sure if she should believe it or not. Neither I’m I. This Woody Allen film that in fact isn’t a Woody Allen film, but a film by Peter Bogdanovich, makes you wonder what on earth you just watched.
The story Isabella tell the reporter is of how she got her first role in a play on Broadway. Working as a prostitute while trying to land a role in a play, Isabella meet Arnold Albertson (Owen Wilson) and her life changes. He offer her 30.000 dollars if she promise to stop working as a prostitute, and Isabella take the offer. The other day she get a call from her agent that she has a read at the theatre, as a prostitute. At the reading she realize that the director is Arnold and that she is to play against his wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) and her role has slept with Deltas husband and is now pregnant. The great actor Seth Gilbert (Rhys Ifans) plays the husband in the play, but in real life he has a crush on Delta. Complicated? Well, that is only half of the story. There is also an older man that is obsessed with Isabella and hires a private detective to keep an eye on her. The detective, however, turns out to be the father of the writer of the show and who falls in love with Isabella. The writer is the boyfriend to a psychologist (Jennifer Aniston) where both Isabella and the old man are patients. I don’t think I have to mention that everyone gets in trouble.
Just like the reporter, I’m not sure I believe the story. The whole film ends with a real director (I’m not telling you which one, cause that would be a spoiler) walking in, being Isabellas boyfriend. The reporter comment on the story and says some of the lines are taken from another film, which Isabella admit they might be. Therefore it’s up to everyone to choose whether or not they want to believe the story that’s been told. The whole film is a big coincidence and it’s impossible not to laugh at how everything comes together. Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans are absolutely amazing in their roles and it’s also them who brings most of the comedy.
This is not the kind of comedy to watch when you’re tired or just want something in the background. It needs you to be focused all the time, otherwise you might miss something. I’m not sure I can say if I like it or not, but it sure leaves me with something. As I’ve said above, if you like a comedy a la Woody Allen this might just be the film for you.
– Emma Åkerlind