Woody Allen is always weakest when nostalgic: indulgence leads to caricature and overstatement. Set at the start of World War II, the film follows the fortunes of a family of Jewish underachievers. Against the backdrop of their predictably colourful obsessions, a glimmer of a story charts the progress of Farrow from Manhattan nightclub cigarette-girl to celeb of the airwaves. The real star, however, is radio itself, that pre-TV purveyor of everyday unreality against which wartime America measured its dreams. It's a great idea for a movie, but Allen fatally opts for a Fellini: Amarcord approach of formless narrative, larger-than-life coincidence, and rambling ruminations on what times there used to be.
Cast and crew