First Hit: I was disappointed in this film.
The first thing was I couldn’t get over how quickly Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) spoke his lines with rejoinders coming almost as fast in return.
It just didn’t seem like anyone (Director or Actors) wanted the let the words breathe and have some sense of feeling with them. It is reflective of a poor Woody Allen film. Eisenberg is no Allen (and I like Eisenberg's work) and speaking Allen’s words the way he was directed didn’t work.
Nobody does Allen like Allen (good or bad). With this overriding problem with the film, it seemed hard to get into the story. On a good note, I thought that Kristen Stewart (as Vonnie) was very strong. She was the only main character that seemed to feel her way into her character.
Steve Carell as Phil Stern was OK, but at times it just seemed as though he was straightjacketed as the big time movie producer. I never felt his attraction to either his wife or Vonnie, it all seemed for show. I did like the feel of the 1930’s set with the nightclub being especially embracing.
Eisenberg, either got poor direction or wasn’t right for the role in that his machine gun approach to the lines lacked depth and feeling. Stewart was the best character in the film and she continues to show why she is so much more than the “Twilight” girl. Carell was mediocre as the studio executive, and my sense it was the direction that failed him. Blake Lively was good as Bobby’s wife and the scene of their meeting was one of the better scenes in the film. Corey Stoll as the criminal element of Bobby’s family was also good. Woody Allen, narrated, wrote and directed this film and in all ways it seemed to lack heart and comedy.
Overall: One film that is easily forgotten.