Spanish Romance: We’re reviewing Woody Allen’s new comedy

In “A Spanish Affair” Woody Allen returns to his travel cycle and continues his travels around Europe. He takes us to San Sebastian to tell about the lost magic of cinema and share his own neuroses and obsessions. However, it is not as good as it used to be. Why? You will find out from our review.

In “A Spanish Affair”, after exploiting his love for New York, Woody Allen returns to his travels around Europe. This time, he takes us to picturesque San Sebastian. But don’t worry. His latest film cannot be reduced to a series of picturesque, idyllic landscapes, because (with perhaps one exception) he does not leave popular tourist spots here. Instead of intensive sightseeing, it gives us a pass to an event known at least by name to every cinema fan.


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However, the San Sebastian Film Festival is different here than we would like it to be. We do not follow the main character sitting at sessions from morning to evening. Instead, we get Mort’s private party unfolding in his head. “Contemporary cinema does not have much to offer us” – Allen seems to be saying through the mouth of his protagonist, telling him to run away to the masterpieces of the 10th muse.

Spanish Romance – Review of Woody Allen’s new comedy

“Spanish Romance” breathes love for cinema, but not for the modern one. Young directors can only talk about peace in the world with the passion of the candidates for Miss. That is why Mort, experiencing successive adventures in San Sebastian, associates them with events known from the films of Ingmar Bergman, Orson Welles, or Federico Fellini. Allen willingly paraphrases their most popular productions, serving us a Jewish variation on the theme of “Citizen Kane” or conversations about God in an environment taken straight from “Persona”.

Spanish Romance – Woody Allen – premiere – trailerIn fact, only this play with the great masters’ cinema separates “Spanish Romance” from the bottom. Give up all hope if you’re counting on the freshness of “Stardust Memories” or the irony of “Hollywood’s End”. Allen chews on only the motives known from his works, which is why Mort, as an unfulfilled writer and an aging academic all his life dealing with the 10th muse, expresses himself like a staggering critic. Godard this, Bunuel that. He will also not miss any opportunity to nail a young director, whom he suspects of having an affair with his wife.

Allen turns the film festival into a festival of his neuroses, obsessions and fears. Mort’s nihilistic observations go hand in hand with regaining the will to live when he meets a young doctor. Then we get a real orgy of hypochondria. Even an insect bite becomes a reason to visit the charming doctor. We’ve seen all this before. And it is in a much better version.

Spanish Romance – Woody Allen’s Fall?

Don’t expect any interesting thoughts on the Annie Hall relationship. There is no brilliant absurdity from “Take the money and your feet”. Well, even the charm of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is in vain to look for here. Two really funny situations, a few forcibly woven statements from an elderly cynic and just a bit of chemistry between the characters are all you can expect. “Spanish Romance” is Allen’s film measured from the ruler, made as if from a machine.


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The production will appeal to the most ardent fans of the director. Even they will have to admit, however, that their champion, even if Allen’s latest films left much to be desired, suffered a decline in form. As if all he had to do was pose with magic. In “A Spanish Romance” it is easy to see, and we won’t find much under it.

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