The Woody Allen Tourist: Hollywood Ending (2002)

When you think of modern day Hollywood, what pops into your head? Super-skinny actresses lining up to audition for ‘girl in supermarket’, perhaps? Cut-throat studios getting botox injections whilst screaming about budgets, old ‘Hollywood hacks’ and tentpole movies? How about Woody Allen? Hmmm, no, not really very ‘Hollywood’ is he…

Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending is perhaps one of the lesser Woody Allen films, but 'interesting' none the less

The only Woody Allen film not to receive a UK release, Hollywood Ending stars Woody Allen as a has-been director whose ex-wife gives him a break by letting him shoot her new movie. He was 67 years old when this film was released, and no doubt playing a character similar to that age (considering he very much looks his age). I feel is important to mention his ex-wife was played by 36-year old Téa Leoni. And,  his new girlfriend was played by 34-year-old Debra Messing, but it’s reasonable to assume she was supposed to be a tad younger.

Right before the film is about to shoot, Allen’s director loses his eye sight due to intense stress. Hilarity then (supposedly) ensues as he tries to hide his sight loss and attempts to direct a film without his ex-wife finding out.

The ‘Hollywood Ending’ needs to happen SOONER

Now, where to begin. This film shockingly has 47% on Rotten Tomatoes. One film critic said that the film was lost in the editing and could have been better had the post production been better. I think they were all being far too kind. This film had some of the dumbest dialogue I have ever heard in a Woody Allen movie. And, the call-backs where so obvious they may as well have held up a sign in the back-ground.

And I mentioned the actresses ages, right? Because my BIGGEST qualm about movies where Woody Allen is playing a role is the age of his significant other. It’s usually gross and totally unrealistic. If he was nice, kind, smart or even rich in any of his movies I could believe it, but he never is. He’s the same every time. Neurotic, sensitive, annoyingly academic and snobbish. Both Leoni and Messing were WAY to young to play his significant others, and you know what else? A lot of this film harks back to how Woody is (probably) in real life and all of his other films.

There’s a scene where Allen’s character is discussing the age of one of the women in the film and Alln suggests she should be a little younger. She shouldn’t be middle-aged, she should 22 and right out of college. She’s also played by 28 year old Tiffani-Amber Thiessen who, whilst definitely looking 22, still THROWS HERSELF AT ALLEN’S CHARACTER FOR NO GOOD REASON. In fact, she does have a reason. And it’s a terrible, chauvinistic one.

Urgh, and the eyesight thing, what the hell is that? It comes way too late in the movie to be the main plot point and seems like it was supposed to be funny, in some way? Rather than just really odd and cringey?

Essentially, I’ve wasted my life watching a film so you don’t have to. DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM. If you want films about the underbelly of Hollywood, watch Maps to the Stars (2014) or Sunset Boulevard (1950) or Mulholland Drive (2001). Just please don’t watch this film.

What did you think of Hollywood Ending? Did you think it was utter rubbish like I did or that it actually had some merit?

Want MORE?

The Woody Allen Tourist: Blue Jasmine (2013)

The Woody Allen Tourist: To Rome With Love (2012)

A Weekend in New York for Film Fans

In-Flight Movies to… Spain

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Hollywood Ending is perhaps one of the lesser Woody Allen films, but 'interesting' none the less


I'm the human and hair behind Almost Ginger. I'm a cinephile travel obsessive vegetarian currently residing in Manchester.