Melinda and Melinda

Release March 18, 2005 (Limited)
Cast Radha Mitchell, Will Ferrell, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Chloë Sevigny, Jonny Lee Miller, Wallace Shawn, Steve Carell
Director Woody Allen
Writer Woody Allen
Genres Comedy, Drama
Studio Fox Searchlight Pictures
Length 100 mins.


Over a meal in a Chinese restaurant, Sy poses a conundrum to his fellow diners – is the essence of life comic or tragic? For the sake of argument, he tells a story, which the others then embellish to illustrate their takes on life. The story starts as follows: A young Manhattan couple, Park Avenue princess Laurel and tippling actor Lee, throw a dinner party to impress Lee's would-be producer when their long-lost friend Melinda appears at their front door, bedraggled and woebegone.

In the tragic version of what happens next, the beautiful intruder is a disturbed woman who got bored with her midwestern doctor-husband and dumped him for a photographer. Her husband took the children away and she spiraled into a suicidal depression that landed her straight-jacketed in a mental ward. In the comic version, Melinda is childless and a downstairs neighbor to the dinner hosts, who are ambitious indie filmmaker Susan and under-employed actor Hobie. Back and forth the stories go, contrasting the destinies of the two Melinda's.

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