Just got back from seeing Scoop, the Woody Allen film starring Hugh Jackman (the reason I went) and Scarlett Johansson. Sadly, it’s not recommended. There’s just too many problems with the film:
- Being Woody Allen doesn’t excuse using some of the hoariest clichés around, including a character who only pops up whenever the plot needs to advance with whatever exposition is needed. There’s a lot that’s predictable or flatly unbelievable about events.
- Woody is still doing the same type of jokes he’s been doing for decades, and some of them he’s too old for. While he was onscreen, I found myself wishing he’d hurry up and get off already. There’s much too much of him.
- Scarlett is supposedly so attractive that Hugh falls in love with her (or at least lust) instantly, so he keeps inviting her out — but her character is a boring drip, and I have no idea what anyone’s supposed to see in her. Even in the swimsuit scene, she’s not outstanding, and it’s shot as though she and/or the director needs to hide parts of her figure.
- Hugh is wooden, walking through the part until a late twist, after which he acts like a different character (instead of causing the audience to say “ah, I saw hints of that earlier”).
- There’s no reason for Woody and Scarlett’s characters to keep hanging around together. One might assume that he also finds her cute, but given Allen’s life and age, I didn’t want to ponder that too much.
- After a few minutes, I realized that there was nothing this reminded me of more than an episode of “Scooby Doo”, and then I almost fell asleep.
It’s a shame, because I had high hopes that this might finally be a Woody Allen film I liked and could recommend, but I think his era has long passed, and I was never the right age for it. I say this because I was easily the youngest person in the theater, and there were plenty of people laughing along elsewhere in the room. So if you’re a fan, you might enjoy it a lot more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t so terrible that I regret going — the experience was fun — but I wished I’d been able to like it more than I did.