Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.
A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.
1920s Broadway. Playwright David Shayne considers himself an artist, and surrounds himself with like minded people, most struggling financially as they create art for themselves, not the masses. David, however, believes the failure of his first two plays was because he gave up creative control to other people who didn't understand the material. As such, he wants to direct his just completed third play, "God of Our Fathers", insider scuttlebutt being that it may very well make David the toast of Broadway. With David having no directing history, David's regular producer, Julian Marx, can't find any investors,... until a single investor who will finance the entire production comes onto the scene. He is Nick Valenti, a big time mobster, with the catch being that his dimwitted girlfriend, non-actress Olive Neal, get the lead role. A hesitant David and Julian, who are able to talk Nick into them giving Olive one of the two female supporting roles instead, go along with the scheme hoping ...Written by
In the late 20's NYC, idealistic playwright David Shayne (John Cusack) is trying to get his play on Broadway. He gets finance from ruthless gangster Nick Valenti but he has to cast Nick's talentless loud-mouthed girlfriend Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly). He is horrified that he's whoring himself out. Her surprisingly-insightful escort Cheech (Chazz Palminteri), not Mr. Cheech, starts making great suggestions. David falls for aging leading star Helen Sinclair (Dianne Wiest) and cheats on his girlfriend Ellen (Mary-Louise Parker). Olive has an affair with leading man Warner Purcell (Jim Broadbent).
It's an irreverent Woody Allen movie taking a sharp jab at the backstage world with a healthy dose of mob violence. There are some hilarious moments but I do want more. I keep thinking that the movie is on the verge of great madcap fun. This is a pretty good Woody movie just below some of his greats.
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