She's Funny That Way


Why spoil a good story with the facts. Asks and asks Peter Bogdanovich at the beginning of She's Funny That Way. And to look good, not entirely wrong. So why talk about his film with a critical eye unnecessarily with comparisons with the past, the record of the American author had many difficulties to get this film? Better to leave the place to the fairy tale, magical encounter with Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach that have allowed him to return to the set, the laughter that raises the film; better to stay at his playful nature and brilliant.


Ché life, and often the rest of the film, are already quite bitter. Bogdanovich did what he wanted, and gave to his fans and viewers around the world exactly what you dreamed and of which, perhaps, they needed a toy with which to play around cinephile, escape and lose track of time and reality film or not. A rowdy comedy of errors, romantic and dreamy, that you not only look at the Hollywood of the gold but also at the same filmography and life of its author, which includes a bow in cinema immortal and coherent part by Lubitsch and Hawks, passes Billy Wilder and Blake Edwards and up to Woody Allen.

Serve a little, if anything, to be talking about the roller coaster of the plot, its intersections improbable, hilarious and risked, the continuous reference citations, interpretations more or less brilliant and distinguished that surprise cameos in the final and alluding, perhaps, to a cinephile handover. It serves to highlight just what is malfunctioning or not, illuminate the merits, the sheens and dynamics.

Why spoil a good story with the facts. Why break the spell of the fairy tale story and the tale of a man who has literally lived for the cinema and the cinema, which has managed to make the film he wanted giving an hour and a half of levity to those who want to go and to see. It's more funny this way. And to me that's okay.

Take the best Woody Allen. What inspires you the desire to stand up during the screenings to explode into a thunderous applause. Here, take it and atmosphere with a splash of old Hollywood style, add a handful of cameos exceptional and you will get She's Funny That Way, the latest film by Peter Bogdanovich presented today at the Venice Film Festival.

Among embarrassing misunderstandings and vitriolic banter, it traces the unpredictable rise of Isabella (Imogen Poots), ringing with the dream of limestone the scene from his rendezvous with Arnold (Owen Wilson), a theater director who with her Delta betrays his wife (Kathryn Hahn), the great love of Seth (Rhys Ifans), histrionic protagonist of the upcoming theatrical piece by Arnold; piece written by Josh (Will Forte), engaged to the neurotic psychoanalyst Jane (Jennifer Aniston) who is in therapy Isabella that her elderly judge his client (Austin Pendleton), obsessed with the beautiful prostitute or muse as prefers to call.

Everything, as I said, it smells the best Woody Allen: from the choice of the blonde protagonist to the music, photography and, of course, to the setting of New York. The cast is a treat for the eyes and the mind. A first, well-deserved round of applause goes to the twenty-five Imogen Poots, namely the British version - and far more good - Scarlett Johansson. Not surprisingly, Owen Wilson, perfectly at ease in the role - sewing on him - of awkward faithless heart of gold. Towering over all a sublime Rhys Ifans, never been so funny and histrionic.

The film proceeds to safe pace stringing together a series of gags delicious, based on a screenplay brilliant though rather predictable; Bogdanovich but not so much interested in how much fun surprise in the best tradition of that golden age of Hollywood comedy that managed to pay homage with class and panache. And the tribute is not veiled, starting from the long, slavish quote of the classic Ernst Lubitsch In your arms , that the romantic Arnold rattles Isabella during their first meeting.

But if that was not enough the charm of old Hollywood to motivate your interest, we may add - without spoilers - that the film is also lined with references to contemporary cinema delicious, and digs through the blockbuster is due to exceptional cameos, all motivated and stuck to perfection in the gears of the plot. Very little is needed to make a great film?

Sure. Just learn from the best movies of the past and adapt it to a cast of star players. Whether it is little or much, cinema should look more carefully at products such as She's Funny That Way because it shows clearly how humor can win on the elegant word, and a well-stocked cast always has the best on the stardom of the season, ready to wilt at the first gust of wind.


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