Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Hollywood Ending

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some drug references and sexual material

Reviewed by: Ryan Izay

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release:
Woody Allen and Téa Leoni in “Hollywood Ending”

Starring: Woody Allen, Debra Messing, Téa Leoni, Treat Williams, Mark Rydell | Directed by: Woody Allen | Produced by: Letty Aronson, Helen Robin | Written by: Woody Allen | Distributor: Dreamworks

Despite the title, this is a film that takes place most entirely out of Hollywood and it is apparent that the writer/director (Woody Allen) hates California. And like most Woody Allen films, “Hollywood Ending” takes place in New York. Also like most of Allen’s films it is completely self indulgent and made exclusively for his own satisfaction.

Audiences are exposed to their usual dose of the traditional Woody Allen character. This typical character’s traits include: paranoia, low self confidence, non-stop whining, and the ability to attract any woman he wants despite his personality and age. But this is nothing new for a Woody Allen film and aside from that the film is fantastic.

It’s the story of a film director named Val Waxman who goes temporarily blind the night before starting a big project. Countless mishaps follow when he decides to try and direct despite the problem. “Hollywood Ending” is a mature comedy that doesn’t forget to have a little fun along the way.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Woody Allen is a fantastic director. But some of the sexual jokes and innuendo could have definitely been left out. However, “Hollywood Ending” is rather tame in comparison to other similar fare. There is some discreet moral content, although none of it refers directly to God: Waxman slowly become a better person as the film comes to a closing. The good does outweigh the bad in this film’s case but it is important to know that it is made for adults and older teens. Anyone younger would most likely not enjoy “Hollywood Ending”.

Viewer Comments
Positive—While, as a Woody Allen fan, I didn’t think this was his best work. I certainly don’t believe it to be his worst. The insults and negativity being lashed out about this film are completely unwarranted. My advice is if people don’t like Woody Allen movies then they shouldn’t go see Woody Allen movies.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Rob Hubler
Positive—In the best film Woody Allen has done since “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” the kvetching, neurotic personality delights audiences deep enough to understand him yet again with his talent for jokes and wit. One comment made by the reviewer startles me though, and that’s where the comment was made about how the sexual innuendos could have been left out. Pardon the cynicism, but Woody without sexual innuendos is like Lucille Ball without red hair…
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Anonymous, age 18
Movie Critics
…Despite the positive demonstration of loyalty to Val by his agent and ex-wife, as well as restoration of the relationship with his son, HOLLYWOOD ENDING offers too many mis-guided messages about sexual relations and profane dialogue…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…Sexually related dialogue is present in several scenes, while a scantily clad actress offers her sexual favors to her male director (he nervously declines) and some other women wear somewhat revealing clothing…