Woody Allen at his most inconsequential and insubstantial; don’t expect to remember this black-and-white throwaway of comic sketches five minutes after it’s over. The art movie reference this time is La dolce vita, and Kenneth Branagh has been enlisted to play Allen playing the Marcello Mastroianni part. Judy Davis, as Branagh’s estranged spouse, also plays Allen, at least until she starts imitating Mia Farrow. It appears that the widespread critical support of sexist and racist films like Mighty Aphrodite and Deconstructing Harry has further emboldened Allen in depicting women as blow-job machines and blacks as sexual athletes; he knows in advance that most of the New York press will never desert him and probably will applaud his courage in the bargain. Others in the cast include Melanie Griffith, Leonardo DiCaprio (playing himself much as Quentin Tarantino did in Four Rooms), Joe Mantegna, Winona Ryder, Michael Lerner, Famke Janssen, Charlize Theron, Hank Azaria, and Bebe Neuwirth (1998). (JR)

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