|You know you're in trouble |
when the poster is more
entertaining that the film.
Out of curiosity, more than anything else, I resolved to see Rifkin on a cold, drizzly Super Bowl Sunday with my friend Diane. After all, I have seen every one of Allen's 48 earlier works, so of course I had to include this one. Rainy Day had a few moments of fun and wit, but Rifkin is totally lacking in either. The screenplay is a sad retread of numerous Allen schtick-tropes with only one or two genuine laughs. Mort Rifkin (Wallace Shawn), the latest in a long line of schlubby, late middle-aged Allen stand-ins is a pretentious writer and former cinema studies professor attending the San Sebastian Festival with his gorgeous, younger wife (Gina Gershon), a publicist. She is escorting her client, an even more pretentious and handsome French film director (Louis Garrel). Naturally, the publicist and the director are having an affair and Mort manages to find an even younger and even more ravishing love object, a Spanish doctor (Elena Anaya) treating Mort's hypochondriac symptoms. (Shades of Hannah and Her Sisters). Of the latter Allen films, only Whatever Works contains a protagonist ultimately hooking up with an age-appropriate woman.
|Wallace Shawn and Elena Anaya|
in Rifkin's Festival.
The few laughs I mentioned occur in the very beginning where pompous film types exchange absurd quips abut their product ("Was your orgasm in the movie achieved by special effects?" I did giggle at that one.) The film kinda peters out after a while and you don't care what happens to Mort, his wife, or anyone else because they're not real people, but retreads of Allen stock figures.
After the film, Diane and I enjoyed hot chocolate and latte in the cute little coffee bar at the Quad. It was warm and cosy as it drizzled outside and the rest of the world huddled around their TVs to watch the Super Bowl.
There are reports that Allen is not retiring just yet. He is contemplating making a 50th film, a drama like Match Point, Another Woman, or Cassandra's Dream, to be filmed in Paris. Rifkin is a sad afterthought to a brilliant, long career (I might do a separate blog on my thoughts of each of Allen's movies and where I saw them). I don't believe the accusations of the Farrows. Plus, I'm not going to be one of those haters who say Allen should quit making movies because his most recent ones have been so terrible. I hope he keep making cinema as long as he wants to and I will continue to see it.