Honest, borderline corny, love letter to prosaic movie going, another sequence of director's personal escape from Industry and a bittersweet criticism of it. And even though it's one of the rare ones where he doesn't play a part, Jeff Daniels character can be seen as Woody's take on dichotomy of his (non)fictional characters and himself.
Allen isn't to be trusted when it comes to philosophical depth, and Purple Rose barely has enough story to fill 80 minutes. But it has lovely whimsical melancholy, and it's worth noting that, self-absorbed as he is, this is a rare film from that period with no "Allen" character, just a love letter to Mia and to moviegoers (but not Hollywood). Final coup: turning a Fred and Ginger puff pastry into something poignant.
re-rating. From the life of characters in a world of fictional inventory of imaginary lives through distinct and intersected layers, making realize that life's dream is a dream living within a dream, which is life itself. Dream as materia and allegory of cinema. The great final shot of Cecilia/Mia Farrow is the constitutive durability of this perception, although she's also a character, just like us, organic unicity.
Although the du jour high postmodernist clichés (à la John Barth) of plot (factitiousness of facticity) and dialogue (author as god, fashionable cinephilia etc.) wear the look of faded regulation brocade, the fabulously leggiero pacing and the friction it creates against the dispirited image and the wan-raggedy-babydoll-with-a-squeak-of-spirit look of Farrow (one of her looks) still pleases and sometimes delights.