Bomb Rating: 

How long has Woody Allen been making films and how long has virtually everyone been telling him his films have been going downhill? It's been at least ten years, right?

And I'll be conservative and say that Allen's IQ must be at least 125 and the guy can't figure out that people are sick of two things: they're sick of him and they're sick of seeing people pretending to be him. Isn't that exactly why "Match Point" did so well, was so critically acclaimed, and hailed by so many people (wrongly, of course) as being a return to form? Nobody was pretending to be Woody Allen.

But in "Scoop", which just seems like "Manhattan Murder Mystery" set in London, Scarlett Johansson makes a go of playing a female Woody Allen. She's nervous, unsure of herself, and has lots of nervous tics. Her character is Sondra Pransky, a budding journalist who gets a scoop from the ghost of Joe Strombel (Ian McShane) while participating in a magic trick for Sid Waterman (Woody Allen). The scoop is that rich, famous Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman) is really a serial killer. So Scarlett, with Sid in tow, attempts to discover Peter's secret.

Is it just me or are Allen's films now more examinations of his own warped psyche than films? The whole idea that any of these women would want to sleep with Allen comes from Allen's fantasy that these women are like him. This is why he casts them in his films and has them play neurotics. Of course, they're not only playing neurotics, but versions of Allen. This must somehow be appealing to him, I guess. It also works by having somebody like Kenneth Branagh or Will Ferrell act like Allen because then Allen can fancy himself leading man material and this seems to feed his fantasy that he would be attractive to hot women.

Allen is much more successful both critically and financially when he deals with ideas instead of personalities. This is a personality film and it's annoying like all the rest.

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