“Magic in the Moonlight” is the story of Stanley (Colin Firth), an illusionist whose stage presence is a well-known Chinese magician, called upon to uncover a potential fraud in psychic Sophie (Emma Stone). She has dazzled a well-to-do family to fall under her spell, including their son Brice (Hamish Linklater) who has fallen in love at first sight with Sophie. Story wise this is one of the most cohesive from Woody Allen. The comedies seem to do much better than the dramas.
However, while both Firth and Stone are (always) charming on their own, together their chemistry fizzles. Stanley’s “detective work” is fun, but when the storyline turns romantic it comes off as a bit silly. It would still been a good story had there not been a bit of romance, and in this case, it just slowed down the pace.
It’s a sweet movie, but not one that can necessarily be labeled a romantic comedy. Unfortunately, there is nothing remarkable to note from the movie. No memorable funny parts or sweet moments. The 1920s is a pretty setting to film with the costumes and the way of life during that period, but other than that there could have been more to make the mystery more enticing.
Woody Allen gets the cream of the crop to star in his films, but they are definitely are not for everyone. There are more hits than misses, although this one is up in the air for what category it falls under. The celebrity of it all carries the movie because the story on its own falls flat and predictable.
Final words: It had a chance to be remarkable, but it turned out to be forgettable.