The summer is here and while audiences will be lining up in droves for the next big popcorn flick, Woody Allen is there like clockwork with another dose of confectionery counter-programming. His latest European rom-com is Magic in the Moonlight, a period crime caper fronted by Emma Stone and Colin Firth. It seems like Allen has been chasing the "lightning in a bottle" that was Midnight in Paris, but has he finally recaptured that magic?
The first trailer for Magic in the Moonlight suggests that Allen is digging in the vault of old ideas again. Set in the familiar French jazz scene of the 1920s, Firth plays a professional debunker set out to expose Stone's phony mystic. It all looks quite charming and is typically well-shot, but every ounce of this is warmed over rehashes of Allen's old work, and not necessarily from his best work. Sadly, that's how Allen's films have been for a little while now; momentarily engaging but ultimately forgettable.
Magic in the Moonlight opens July 25th.