by Tony Medley
Writer-Director Woody Allen
has posed two propositions; the first is if you don’t like the movie and
the audience does. In such a case says Woody, “I got away with one, or
They’re not perceptive, or This is such a piece of junk, - so it’s not a
good feeling.” The other is to make a film he likes and the audience
doesn’t like it. “You still get somewhat of a decent feeling,” says
Woody. “You figure, ‘Well, it’s a bad break for me, they don’t like it;
but I really did the best job I could and I’m sorry they don’t like it.’
That’s a much better feeling than if they love it and you yourself don’t
get any kick out of it.”
What Woody didn’t cover is
when the film is a piece of junk and he likes it. That apparently
describes “Scoop.” I say “apparently” because I don’t know if Woody
likes it or not. What I do know is that this film is definitely a piece
Not one thing works with this
film. One of the many reasons is the answer to the question, How bad can
an actor be? Watch Woody in this film. He is in more scenes than anyone
else. He fumbles for words, sort of like Jimmy Stewart used to do. But
Woody fumbles for them every time he speaks. He wrote the lines, for
heaven’s sake! He still has to fumble for his words? It’s not funny;
it’s not cute; it’s not endearing; it’s annoying.
If Adam and Eve had been
burdened with the same lack of chemistry between Scarlett Johansson
(Sondra Pransky) and Hugh Jackman (Peter Lyman), the human race would
have died aborning. Talk about a sexless romance!
Allen’s directing, you should
pardon the expression, is listless. This is an attempt at a murder
mystery, albeit comedic, yet one never feels that Sondra is in any
danger. There is not one iota of tension throughout the movie, even
though Woody claims Hitchcock as a model.
The story line is feckless.
The idea is that Joe Strombel (Ian McShane) is a dead journalist, but he
appears to Sondra, a journalism student, with a theory that Lyman is the
Tarot Card serial killer. The locale for his appearance on onstage for
Sid Waterman’s (Allen) magic show. That’s when Sondra meets Sid. For
some reason unexplained she decides to pursue the theory with the help
of Sid, who poses as her father, complaining all the way. I almost fell
asleep just writing the silly plot.
Woody’s script has no humor,
no plot twists, nothing. Not only does it not have a B story, I frankly
couldn’t find an A story. It’s just a bunch of words.
July 20, 2006