Scoop [Celluloid Hero]
I’ve watched more Woody Allen movies than any other director, and probably more Woody Allen movies than I can really remember. He was arguably one of the best directors of the 1970s, and his output since then has varied from comedies to dramas, mainstream movies to pet projects. I try to give the newer movies the chance to stand on their own, but when it comes to Allen it is really difficult to not think of it in terms of “a Woody Allen Movie”, so it has it’s own sort of rating.
With later Allen movies, it’s always fun to see how a new actor takes on the “Woody” character that is portrayed in all his (comedic) movies. In this case, Allen stars as himself and is paired up with Scarlet Johannsen, doing her own form of the nerdy, nervous, sarcastic, awkward Allen-esque character. Johannsen plays a college reporter who is visited by the ghost of a British newspaper columnist. The ghost has information on a juicy scandal, one that is impossible to resist, but obviously being dead he can’t act on it. Woody Allen doesn’t often go into such fictional realms, but for comedic purposes it works here.
Hugh Jackman takes his shot at playing the anti-Woody Allen, the alpha male of the movie. He’s tall, handsome, rich, cultured, and falls in love with Johannsen. We’ve seen this in reverse in most Allen movies, with beautiful women constantly falling for the dwarfish Allen; this time the genders are switched. The other theme of Allen romance is pretty similar, where Allen is trying to convince his beautiful partner that the dreamy guy she has her eyes on isn’t exactly what he seems.
If you like the old Woody Allen comedies, “Scoop” wouldn’t be a disappointment. It’s obviously not a classic in the vein of “Annie Hall” or “Love and Death”, but it definitely has a good number of laughs.
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On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, “Scoop” gets a 6 out of 10.