Time: 84 Minutes
AWARDS: Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay
One of Allen's most magical, romantic and entertaining films, due partly to the fact that he's not in it. Farrow stars as an unhappy housewife in love with the movies who uses her time at the cinema to escape her boring life. When her favorite character Tom Baxter, played by Daniels, walks off the screen to be with her she gets carried away by the romance of it all and tries to create a future with him...even though he's fictional. Tom's choice to join the real world stops the film he's in cold, creating chaos for the movie studio, the theater and the actor who created him.
Everyone entreats Cecilia (Farrow) to convince Tom to return to the film before they're ruined for good. Though this is a dream come true for her, she quickly realizes that Tom's not at all prepared for life off the big screen where there's no script to follow to find happiness. Some of the film's best moments come when Gil and Tom (both Daniels) argue over their future in Hollywood and with Cecilia. This cannot have been easy to film and he is convincing as both characters.
This is a clever, funny, sweet film that celebrates the magic of the movies and the power they have always had over people. Daniels is wonderful as Tom Baxter/Gil Bellows, giving both men a charm most women would be hard pressed to resist. Farrow is perfect as the lonely, Depression-era wife, looking for someone to rescue her from her mundane and loveless existence. Her sweet innocence is the heart of the film. Aiello plays such a worthless husband, it's no wonder a non-existent man steals her heart. A true cinema gem that gets better with each viewing. This has a lightness and sense of romance very unlike most of Allen's work which tend to be more dark and cynical when it comes to finding love. Perhaps that's why I like it so much.