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Woody Allen has written and directed this drama which is set in a 1950s American Coney Island summer. The story surrounds the relationships and romantic entanglements within a family who suffer from the disappointments and high expectations of life.

Kate Winslet plays the role of Ginny, an unhappily married woman who works in a clam house on the boardwalk at Coney Island. Her husband is abusive and she longs for love which she hopes to find in Mickey, (Justine Timberlake) an aspiring writer. Ginny’s young son is a pyromaniac and her step-daughter who has left her gangster husband also predictably falls in love with Ginny’s lover Mickey.

Amongst all these neurotic characters and the over-melodramatic storylines which would be appropriate for any daytime soap opera, lies a dark humour which lightens the drama ultimately transforming this film into a self-parody.

This is not Woody’s best work, but moviegoers who appreciate his quirky style of writing should also be charmed by the colourful cinematography and the fine period musical score. (MMo)

★★★