Apart from the sequences delving into polygamy, something Woody started filming/talking about very late into his career, the rest is a prosaic see-through comedy. Set in an over-clichéd vision of Mediterranean, needlessly narrated, with a theatrical ending that solves nothing, the film is a caricature of itself and its topic. And however intentional it might be, I saw most of it as plain lazy.
The comedy is sharp even before Penelope Cruz's tour de force. The rich-expat/tourist depiction of Barcelona felt annoying until the very end, at which point it struck me that this is one of Allen's angrier pieces: he reveals himself to have little sympathy for the vacuous and narcissistic preoccupations of his protagonists. There is a more acidic edge here than I'd anticipated and the film is all the better for it.
This is a "love triangle" or as the french would say a "ménage à trois". What makes it interesting is the "plus 1 effect" which makes it a "love square". And, it is a Woody Allen movie without Woody Allen. Although not on screen he's omnipresent. Sex, a little comedy, a bit drama and a wonderful cast makes this a solid cocktail.
A touristic view of ART [declaimed as if on the proverbial plinth] and sexual intrigue dressed as romanticism stymies this minor Allen where artistic endeavour is as easy as shelling peas. Thin characterisations do not convey the emotional and intellectual weight the (unnecessary) narration alludes to. Passable wallpaper but reductive in most senses.
Dernier film en date du prolifique Woody Allen qui déferle comme un débordant raz-de-marée, avec ses pétulants chassés-croisés amoureux, son entraînante et intarissable vivacité cumulative, pour une virevoltante oeuvre salutaire qui au-delà de son indéniable qualité cinématographe, reste avant tout une superbe leçon de séduction et un turbulent hymne bienheureux à l'hédonisme décontracté. www.cinefiches.com