Alice Alice , a very minor Woody Allen movie — watchable and sometimes funny, but ever so thin. (Allen is starting to treat thinness as a… Alice Alice , a very minor Woody Allen movie — watchable and sometimes funny, but ever so thin. (Allen is starting to treat thinness as a… PG-13 PT106M Comedy Drama Romance Mia Farrow William Hurt Keye Luke Joe Mantegna Orion Pictures
Movie Review

Alice (1990)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
EW's GRADE
B

Details Rated: PG-13; Length: 106 minutes; Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance; With: Mia Farrow; Distributor: Orion Pictures

Alice, a very minor Woody Allen movie — watchable and sometimes funny, but ever so thin. (Allen is starting to treat thinness as a higher virtue.) Mia Farrow plays Alice, an upper-crust Manhattanite who spends her days shopping at the ritziest stores in town, getting manicured, and gossiping with her bored socialite friends. Yet she doesn't quite belong among them. A good Catholic, she has been married to her rich, dull, and — unbeknownst to her — philandering husband (William Hurt) for almost 16 years. She's so insulated, such a mousy, naive goody-two-shoes, that she barely takes any sinful pleasure in her decadent-consumerist life-style. All of this changes when she goes to see the mysterious Dr. Yang (Keye Luke), a kind of Zen magician who hypnotizes her and uncovers her true romantic nature. Thanks to Yang's mystical herbs, she can even turn invisible. When she meets a sexy, gentle, divorced man (Joe Mantegna) at the posh private school both their children attend, she fantasizes about having an affair with him, and soon her fantasy is becoming reality. ''Alice'' is a light-comic gloss on Fellini's 1965 daydreaming-housewife movie, Juliet of the Spirits. The movie is inventive and full of wry casting cameos (actors as diverse as Alec Baldwin, Judy Davis, and Bernadette Peters keep popping up). Yet it doesn't have the devilish, rambunctious spirit that made Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo a minor gem. If anything, Farrow seems to be doing an impression of Woody here, and her high-pitched manic hesitancy wears out its welcome before the picture is over. B

Originally posted Jan 11, 1991 Published in issue #48 Jan 11, 1991 Order article reprints
Advertisement

Today's Most Popular

From Our Partners