I'm a Woody Allen fan. I admit it. I look forward to watching his movies. Especially this year, when "Celebrity" appeared, perched atop the waves of shit that I've been struggling through like a lifeboat. I thought, "This week I'm saved!" I was wrong, though. "Celebrity" is just more shit, although shit of a different stench.
"Celebrity" is not only a bad Woody Allen movie, it's just a bad movie. And that makes me sad. It makes me think of all these questions I hoped I could avoid forever. Questions like, "Is Woody slipping? Has he lost touch with the world? Why are my father's bedsheets at the rest home always so dirty?" I don't know the answers, but I do know that Woody Allen doesn't say a single new or interesting thing.
"Celebrity" is set upon the slim plot of a couple (Kenneth Branagh and Judy Davis) that divorce because of his immaturity and asshole behavior. Both characters wind their way through various avenues of celebrity, touching the famous and becoming famous (for her), and each ends up with what he or she deserves. She gets fame, a wonderful husband and happiness. He gets nothing but despair and loneliness. Gee, isn't that exactly how it's supposed to end up?
Through the process, "Celebrity" shows us that deep down, famous people are as boring and miserable as the rest of us little shits. They just have nicer cars, jewelry and they look better. Why Woody takes two hours to tell us something we already knew, I haven't got a fucking clue. I mean, I think he is retelling the premise of a "Sweet Valley High" novel here. Except the Sweet Valley novel was more interesting because there was always the hinted potential of some hot little teenager getting it on.
I guess my biggest bitch about "Celebrity" is that the whole movie is flatter than the aforementioned hot teenager's chest. The jokes are staged without any zing or laughs. It's like the movie is some sort of clinical exercise, lacking all passion or interest. The characters are not interesting enough for me to care about. I didn't hate them, I didn't like them, I just wanted them to quit being so boring and do something. The movie, like the '64 Falcon in my driveway, lacks propulsion. I never was eager to see what would happen next because there is no tension, drama or climax.
Kenneth Branagh pretends he is Woody Allen. Why? Who the fuck knows? My guess is that he and his squeeze Helena Bonham Carter thought it would be a "lark." Assholes like him don't laugh when something's funny, they laugh when they think they get the joke and the stupid people don't. It's that "Aren't I a smarty" laugh. And as a smarmy cocksucker, Branagh never even cared how painfully excruciating this would be for everyone that is not Branagh or Carter.
To me, it's about as funny as Rich Little doing a two hour Woody Allen impression. In fact, I would rather have had broken glass shoved up my urethra than watch this self-serving performance. I hate Kenneth Branagh for being a pretentious asshole, and I hate his high-school-drama-class face even more. Fuck you, Mr. Branagh. Go back to England and star in "Are You Being Served."
Another problem is that the gags in "Celebrity" are just plain lame. They wouldn't be out of place in a Police Academy movie, or an episode of "Family Matters." A woman shows another woman how to give a blow-job and chokes on the banana she is using. Jesus, my five year old neighbor writes raunchier scenes than that. A man is so enamored by the come-on of a beautiful woman that he drives his car through a store's front window. Ha ha. A TV camera crew enters a plastic surgery clinic and the clients are embarrassed to be capture don film. Woody, watch some TV, or go to the movies. Catch up with the rest of us already.
I'm worried, though. Woody Allen used to mean to me that I
would laugh at something different. It meant that for a few brief
moments I would give a rat's ass about a bunch of loser New York
whiners. But this time, he just took a stale plot, stale jokes,
and wrapped it up in a pretty black and white ribbon. It's like
he didn't even try. Two fingers for "Celebrity."