Sometimes, there are movies that you can watch over and over and over; a movie that has no mood or required setting. Just an excellent movie. One of those rare types of movies is Woody Allen's 2002 Hollywood Ending. It is, in my opinion, one of the greatest of the eccentric director's entire career. Though hard-core Woody Allen fans disagree, admiring his older work more, Hollywood Ending is an extremely original piece, which centers around an unfathomable situation.
The movie focuses on Val Waxman, a once-brilliant New York-bred film director, who is hired (by his ex-wife) to direct a picture set in the Big Apple during the mobster-era. An ideal movie for the washed-up guy to direct. However, what he doesn't expect is to direct the whole film blind! Out of nowhere, he is stripped of his vision, temporarily. (psychosomatic blindness)
No one but his agent, Al, and the cameraman's interpreter knows his secret. Eventually, Ellie, Val's ex-wife, discovers it and begins to help him. What she didn't expect was to end up with him in the end, leaving her fiance, Hal, alone and without a decent movie.
Some of the hilarity of the film revolves around Val's blindness, which isn't technically "nice". Falling off a two-story movie set, as if he thinks it's simply more ground is heart-stoppingly humorous. Bumping into objects, talking to people who aren't there, speaking of others who are there are just some of the other giggly skits. The most hysterical one is the scene where Val and Hal have a "man-to-man" talk about the movie. Val must rehearse where to sit and what to do. Sitting on air, talking to empty spaces, and looking at nothing that's supposed to be something is undeniably hilarious.
This movie is a masterpiece, fulfilling all the requirements of a wonderful movie. Humor, without a doubt is essential and provided. Romance, of course is here. Reality, very much so; the kind of situation that seems unreal, but is and it's petrifying in a funny way.
This is probably Woody Allen's best movie yet, and I give it a 94/100, for I can watch it again and again and again and again and again!