Melinda and Melinda

Rated 3.0 Woody Allen’s latest Upper West Side opus has two writers discussing the same situation; one (Larry Pine) imagines it as a tragic drama, and the other (Wallace Shawn) as a romantic comedy, with the action alternating between them. In the drama, Melinda (Radha Mitchell) enters the lives of two married friends from her college days (Chloë Sevigny and Jonny Lee Miller). In the comedy, she (Mitchell again) enters the lives of a couple she’s just met (Will Ferrell and Amanda Peet). Allen undercuts his premise a little—the comedy isn’t all that funny, and the drama isn’t all that tragic—but his point is valid enough (life is tough; make the best of it), and his cast has plenty of fun with the philosophical soufflé he’s whipped up for them. Mitchell, in her dual role, gives a breakout performance (two of them, in fact).