Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlet Johansson, Brian Cox, Emily Mortimer
Anyone for tennis? Seems Woody Allen has being breaking out the Robinsons barley water and pulling up his white socks for his first foray outside his native USA. Rising Irish “hunk” Jonathon Rhys Meyers stars alongside big lipped Scarlet Johansson in this movie about love lust and tennis.
Chris is a man on the up, thanks to his relationship with a well to do daughter of a rich man. But he falls for a struggling actress from the US, Nola. Giving up his passion for tennis he starts a job in a large company, and an affair with the American temptress. Trying to make his wife pregnant, he inadvertently puts more effort into Nola, and, with a single slip up, makes her pregnant. Realising lust doesn’t equal financial stability he must do something about this lurid affair.
Allen doesn’t fair so well outside of New York. While his name portends an excellent movie, his ability here is somewhat lacking here. No problem with direction, even the story itself is interesting, if not already used (or overused), but the acting ability of Meyers is smarmy, poorly delivered and downright frustrating. He is unlikable and odious, and not in a good way. Johansson is also irritating, and their relationship turgid. There is no sense of depth to Meyer’s situation, and the twist (yes there is a twist) is like that of a Stephen King novel, a lot of waffle to get to a minute point.
Hopefully this isn’t inkling toward further Allen projects, he is much better than this. And judging by Meyer’s performance, maybe he’d be better off using his oversized head as a doorstop.