Written by / 4/01/2021 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

WOODY ALLEN'S CINEMATIC FANTASY 'THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO'

Juliana Donald plays a theater worker who's very cute in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO Year: 1985 Rates: ****

As creative as PLAY IT AGAIN SAM is, with Humphrey Bogart appearing to Woody Allen's movie-buff character with advice on dames, the Depression-era PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO goes much further, deeper, with Jeff Daniels as both the actor, Gil Shepard, who brought a character, Tom Baxter, to life, literally... 

Written for the screen and having walked right through it, not only tired of being stuck in the celluloid purgatory and wanting to delve into the real world, he's smitten with Farrow's underdog cinefile, who he'd noticed in the audience during matinee screenings, again and again: Farrow's Cecelia lost her job  after her husband cheats right in front of her face: the theater is her only place to remain safe, and sane...

Danny Aiello with Jeff Daniels and Mia Farrow in The Purple Rose of Cairo

Like BROADWAY DANNY ROSE a year earlier, some of the best shots are literally that: inserts of various and wonderfully mundane people's reactions, especially those within the movie theater while the actors, left on the screen during Tom's absence, argue among themselves (as theater workers Irving Metzman and Juliana Donald look on)...

Meanwhile, in a pivotal role, Danny Aiello plays Cecelia's crap-shooting, cheating and abusive husband, Monk, with Stanley Kowalski bravado. And in B&W up there is Edward Hermann and Deborah Rush, waiting for their cohort to return. The only drawback is that Daniels as the actor also falls for Mia, and their romance hinders her "fictional person" romance that's not only cut short but leads to an anti-climatic turnout.

Mia Farrow in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO
Danny Aiello in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO
Mia Farrow in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO with Jeff Daniels

Deborah Rush with John Wood and Edward Hermann in The Purple Rose of Cairo

Mia Farrow in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO with Jeff Daniels
Irving Metzman with Juliana Donald in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO
Dianne Wiest and Glenne Headly in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO with Jeff Bridges
Glenne Headly in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO with Jeff Bridges

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