I never knew that the mafia was attracted to Broadway so much.
The story follows a hack 1920s playwright (John Cusack) who uses a mobster to finance his newest play. When the gangster’s bodyguard (Chazz Palminteri) starts rewriting the play to make it more believable, he shows more talent than Cusack. The complications of the play come within it’s stars who also include Diane Wiest, Jim Broadbent, and Jennifer Tilly.
This is directed by one of my favorites, Woody Allen, and I thought this film was a whole lot more funnier than any other of his films. The film doesn’t break any new ground or give us a new spin on the way we watch film, but it’s very enjoyable nonetheless.
Allen writes one of his best scripts ever, when in this film he does know that it takes time to create these characters until we find out their funny. I liked how a lot of these antics from these characters were all just so funny. Not the kind of chuckle funny, but really big laugh out loud funny, and found this as a very interesting take on a not so inspired plot.
The film is very funny but it’s also very sly. You can read it as a comedy, but you can also sense that in a subtle way, Woody Allen is making some comments on his own roles as an artist. Is he the Cusack character that is earnest but lacking in emotional strife? Or the gangster who follows art with a sure conclusion of what’s really going on? It’s very fun to actually figure it out for yourself, and keeps you thinking about the statement.
The only problem I had with this film is that it seemed to much of a parody. I felt like it was a Woody Allen parody film on a late-period film. The jokes, stage direction, some of the characters, and even the killings. Though they were funny I still felt the parody sense of the film that lied within.
The performances are one of the most vibrant I have seen in a long time from any film. Cusack does a good job, as usual, but it’s really the witty side characters that are really good. Chazz Paliminteri does one of his best jobs in this film, and is used in the beginning as a side character, then one after another, is used more and more and he creates this wonderful character that you love and hate at the same time. Wiest is amazing in this film and totally steals the show with every scene, also with Jennifer Tilly turning in a surprising Oscar nominee performance.
Consensus: Not very inspired, Bullets Over Broadway features some eccentric performances, a hilarious script and a great message, which ultimately climaxes in one of Woody Allen’s best films.