Magic In The Moonlight: Review


Written and directed by Woody Allen, Magic In The Moonlight is apparently a romantic comedy that actually offers neither.

Set in the 1920’s, Colin Firth plays magician Stanley Crawford, whose oriental persona Wei Ling Soo is celebrated worldwide as one of the best magicians of all time. Asked by his long time friend to travel to the south of France in order to debunk the claims of a medium, it’s not long before the grumpy and pessimistic Crawford starts to think that there could perhaps be some mystical magic in the world after all.

The best part of Magic In The Moonlight was when it finished, and it’s been a long time since I’ve felt so enthusiastically ready to leave the cinema. Not because I was eager to write my review or because I desperately needed the toilet, but because I found this film to be the most tedious hour and a half of cinema I’ve possibly seen all year.

There’s some good that comes primarily from its setting; the costumes, the music, and beautiful location of the south of France combining to make an aesthetically pleasing watch. Colin Firth is brilliant and does his best to keep everything from falling apart, but whilst his efforts are admirable, they aren’t enough to save the dreadfully dull script that drags the film down.

The concept is there, and its hook of one fraud being sent to expose another is one that could work really well elsewhere. Unfortunately, the screenplay by Allen is just utterly boring. The romantic relationship between Crawford and potential telepathic Sophie is so underwritten that any spark between the two feels completely unbelievable. More so due to the odd coupling of Firth and Emma Srone who lack the chemistry needed in a rom-com.

It isn’t funny either. I chuckled maybe once, as did the rest of the audience that I saw this with, but other than that there was a deathly silence from beginning to end. I’m not sure if I missed the point with this one, but with no laughs, no real romance and no magic, Magic In The Moonlight is monotonous and pointless. There’s nothing to detest in its production or technicality, but it may very well put you to sleep.

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