Melinda and Melinda

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Melinda and Melinda Movie Poster Image
Great premise, but talky dramedy doesn't deliver.
  • PG-13
  • 2005
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Attempted suicides.


Sexual references, including adultery.


Some strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking, abuse of prescription drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has some strong language, explicit sexual references, drinking, smoking, drug abuse, and references to murder and suicide.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydavidrox January 22, 2013

Nice, but think of your child

This movie is a very good movie, however, it contains some sexual references. lots of innuendo. i think young kids might not get some of the jokes. but... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bycolten97 October 10, 2012

Woody in full shape

A bunch of guys are discussing philosophy in a bar. Two writers with opposed views on life argue about it: is life tragic or comic? To illustrate their theories... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Four friends in a deli debate whether life is comedy or tragedy. One of them describes a moment: at a dinner party, the hosts are trying to impress a guest and a distressed young woman arrives unexpectedly. One of the writers at the table (Wallace Shawn) says that is the perfect opening for a romantic comedy. Another (Larry Pine) says it is the beginning of a tragedy. As each tells the story his way, viewers see it unfolding. There are many parallels between the two versions, with the unexpected guest a woman named Melinda (Radha Mitchell) in both stories.

Is it any good?

Woody Allen's MELINDA AND MELINDA has a great premise. But while it is surer and more intriguing than the airid Anything Else and Hollywood Ending, it still fails to give us characters who connect in authentic or interesting ways to each other and therefore they never connect to us. As we go back and forth between the two versions of the story, it is often hard to tell them apart even though they have different characters, tones, soundtracks, and directions. That may be important for making Allen's point, which is fine -- that's a good point -- but it is a problem when it comes to the success of the movie. Comic or tragic, a story should be involving and neither one of these stories is.

Allen has addressed the same themes with more insight and wit many times. He has made themes like the fear of death, infidelity, and the longing for love comic and tragic in different movies and sometimes in the same movie. He made the same point he never quite gets to here in fifteen brilliant seconds in Stardust Memories when the supersmart alien tells the, um, alienated comedian who wants to address the tragedies of life, "You want to do mankind a real service? Tell funnier jokes." That's still good advice, especially if you're making a movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the differences and similarities between comedy and tragedy. In another Woody Allen movie, a character says that comedy is "tragedy plus time." What does that mean?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

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