Latest Woody Allen flick Magic In the Moonlight is one to take grandma to

By David Nowacki

Legendary “New Yawk” director Woody Allen has built a career of making movies with biting, witty dialogue. Colin Firth has made a career playing stuffy English gents with varying levels of collar starchiness. Boy, does Magic in the Moonlight not disappoint! The dialogue’s airy and stuffed to bursting with light wit! Colin Firth is uptight and hilariously takes umbrage at a great many things. It’s like a perfect storm of casual pleasantness. Firth’s starchy collar is stuffed this time around by Stanley, a renowned magician, debunker of phony psychics and expert curmudgeon. A former colleague and owner of a pretty slick mustache, Howard (Simon McBurney,) calls on Stanley to exercise his debunking prowess on Sophie (Emma Stone), a psychic whose charms happen to be loosening the considerable purse-strings of a foppish dingbat (Hamish Linklater) and his gullible mother (Jacki Weaver). If you need more than two hands to count the amount of movies you’ve seen, you can pretty much tell where this is heading within the first 20 minutes.

Fortunately, all players in front of and behind the camera do fairly admirably. Firth harrumphs Allen’s clever but barely sub-saccharine lines out convincingly enough and Stone’s coquettish charms are not insubstantial. The world of the 1930s on the French Riviera is quite nicely realized and the supporting actors are just fine in their roles. Linklater’s aforementioned dandy dillweed is particularly effective at being the perfect mix of annoying (ukulele) and funny (bad dancing, foppishness). The whole production has the feel of a stage play specifically geared towards the “educated women, 35-54” demographic. I feel like at every showing they should hand out weak tea in old china cups and two-year-old digestive biscuits. If you and grandma have to decide on a movie to see together, Magic in the Moonlight is your ticket.

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