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Hollywood Ending - 2002
Tagline: It's Going to be a Shot in the Dark!
Run Time: 112 minutes
Val Waxman (Woody Allen) is a neurotic director who can barely get work nowadays. The film begins with Val filming a deodorant commercial in the desolate, frozen north. He is fired on the first day. Returning to his New York apartment, he tells his live-in girlfriend Lori (Debra Messing), "Have you ever seen Canada? Now I know why there's no crime up there."
In order to ignite a comeback, Waxman's ex-wife Ellie (Ta Leoni) persuades her studio executive boyfriend Hal (Treat Williams), and his over-tanned studio executive cronie Ed (George Hamilton) to hand over the directing duties of their new big-budget film to Waxman. The movie is a film noir piece set in Manhattan.
Once the deal is complete and the directing duties fall into his hands, Waxman's various neuroses finally catch up with him, jeopardizing the film.
At this point, Waxman enlists the help of his agent Al (director Mark Rydell), the cinematographer's Chinese translator (Barney Cheng), and even his ex-wife/producer Ellie, to help bring this project to a successful conclusion.
With Hollywood Ending, Woody Allen good-naturedly bites the hand that feeds him. The modern studio system is a ripe target for Allens rapier wit, but the veteran writer-director goes a delicious step further by playing a has-been filmmaker who suffers from psychosomatic blindness -- during the production of his big-budget comeback! Rather than sabotage his career, he proceeds to direct the film with guidance from his Chinese cinematographers translator, telling his agent (played by another veteran director, Mark Rydell) while hiding the truth from his ex-wife and producer (Ta Leoni), her studio honcho husband (Treat Williams), and his ditzy actress girlfriend (Debra Messing), who has a small role in the film. Chaos ensues--and so does Allens predilection for casting much-younger female costars--but Hollywood Ending favors a more contemplative blend of comedy and drama, peppered with memorable punch lines and blessed with, yes, a Hollywood ending thats as entertaining as the mayhem that precedes it.
Budget: $16m (USA)
Gross:$4.8m (USA), 1,400,000 (Italy)
Production Dates: April 2, 2001 - ?
Release Date: May 3, 2002 (USA), May 15, 2001 (Cannes Film Festival), September 18, 2002 (Spain), October 31, 2002 (Italy), January 17, 2003 (Sweeden), August 29, 2003 (Mexico)