6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Woody Allen Does "Magic Realism",
This review is from: Alice [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie was made in the 1989-1990 period. Woody Allen was already an experienced film director and actor. Stas Mia Farrow in the title role of Alice, and Joe Montegna as the lover. Woody Allen does not appear in this film as he is only a director but there is a load of cameos from stars such as Cybil Shepherd and Bernadette Peters in the comedic role of the Muse. Woody Allen's intellectual/philosophical, life affirming comedies have always been effective and successful- Annie Hall, Zellig, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Hannah and Her Sisters, etc. Alice is a modern day and more adult version of "Alice In Wonderland" where it gets its name. Alice is a seemingly happy, married woman living in Manhattan, New York City. The illusion of happiness soon wears off as she discovers her husband, a stockbrocker, played by William Hurt, is cheating on her. Soon enough, she is cheating on him with Joe Montegna's character, a saxophone jazz musician.
The reality of this film, which lies in the complicated adult affairs, including marital infidelity, and the urban scenes of New York City, are contrasted but mingled effectively with the "magic" that is dominant in the film. Alice is consulting a spiritual Oriental doctor who gives her all sorts of herbs and potions, including one which renders her invisable. The scene in which she and Joe Montegna are invisible in the women's clothes store is hilarious. Joe Montegna sneaks into a fitting room to spy on a model dressing. "There's a lot of heavy breathing coming from in here" says the model. Meanwhile Alice overhears her friends talking about her behind her back. Ultimately, Alice must make a choice. She has the cure for her problem. A love potion. But will she select her husband or her lover ? Her decision is unexpected and maybe even a bit off-putting to some viewers who would have preferred she remain in the realm of humans and romantic affairs and materialism. The movie had been going this way until the decision which is to reject worldliness and Mia Farrow is inspired by the humanitarian and noble work of Mother Teresa. I feel that it's at least true to Mia Farrow's real life nature. She is notorious for adopting many foreign children from war-torn and poverty stricken countries. This movie is still very good and I really enjoyed it. The witty script by Woody Allen and his position as director and Mia Farrow's husband is also very effectiive. It's a great film by a master of comedy that makes you think. If only this movie was available on DVD here.