Hollywood Ending Movie Poster Image

Hollywood Ending

Ephemeral, Woody Allen. Only for his fans.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 114 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages



Comic peril.


Sexual references and situations.


Some strong language

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drug references

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has some sexual references and situations, including adultery. There's some strong language and a reference to drug use.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Movie director who Val (Woody Allen) is brilliant but so neurotic that no one will work with him. His ex-wife, Ellie (Tea Leoni) arranges for him to have one last chance to direct -- a movie set in New York that seems perfect for him. Her new boyfriend Hal (Treat Williams) is reluctant to trust Val with a $60 million movie, but he goes along with it because he trusts Ellie to keep Val under control. But just before the film is supposed to begin shooting, Val develops hysterical blindness. He's persuaded by his agent to go ahead and make the movie. The only people who know the truth are Al and a Chinese student hired to translate for the cameraman, who does not speak English. Despite the fact that the director never looks anyone in the eye and his directions make no sense, everyone keeps talking about his artistic "vision" and his leading lady tells him that she loves the way he looks at her. Various mix-ups and pratfalls later, the movie turns out to be a mess, but there is indeed a Hollywood ending and almost everyone lives happily ever after.

Is it any good?


Woody Allen's films seem to get more wispy and  ephemeral every year; for all its small pleasures, HOLLYWOOD ENDING is so light it nearly floats off the screen. Allen gets a lot of credit for poking fun at his own reputation, and there are a couple of hilarious movie industry jokes. The movie has some great lines and some funny scenes, especially when Val and Ellie get together for their first business meeting and it keeps exploding into recrimination about their divorce. Will and Grace's Deborah Messing is delicious as Val's airhead girlfriend, who does leg stretches while she talks on the phone and whose only response to hearing that he is breaking up with her is, "Am I still in the movie?"

Overall, though, Hollywood Ending feels a little tired. Not one character is as distinctive as any of Anne Hall's family members or the robots in Sleeper. This is middle of the road Woody Allen -- a pleasant diversion for his fans, but it won't make any new ones.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why people sometimes put up obstacles to realizing their dreams. What made Val decide to reconcile with his son? Why wasn't it possible earlier? Why did Woody Allen name the male characters Val, Al, and Hal?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 3, 2002
DVD/Streaming release date:September 17, 2002
Cast:Debra Messing, Tea Leoni, Woody Allen
Director:Woody Allen
Run time:114 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual references and drug use

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Parent of a 13 year old Written bycolten97 October 10, 2012

A conformist movie about non-conformism

I really don't understand why your users rated this movie as a mediocre one. This is a superb irony on the irrational fashion that runs through the Western Elite. It's a game between rational and irrational, under the pretext of a blind director who initially wants to make a nonconformist movie and he ends by making it "per accidens". "Thanks God the French exist!" says Woody Allen at a certain moment. Well, we should really thank God for that. The French have style. The French have art. What came under my eyes very rapidly was that, although Woody Allen movie is surprisingly commercial, very easy to understand from a superficial perspective, it is a movie about postmodernism, about how art is made. Tristan Tzara, my compatriot and the initiator of the Suprarealist movement called DADAISM would have been very enthusiastic over the movie in the movie. You should watch this movie with your eyes and ears and with your mind open, because you'll see something else.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking