Hollywood Ending is a 2002 American comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen, who also plays the principal character. It tells the story of a once-famous film director who suffers hysterical blindness due to the intense pressure of directing.


Template:More plot Val Waxman (Allen) is a once prestigious film director lately reduced to overseeing cheesy television commercials in order to pay his bills and support his current live-in girlfriend, Lori (Debra Messing). When he is thrown off his latest effort (a deodorant commercial being filmed in the frozen north), he desperately seeks a real movie project.

Out of the blue, Val receives an offer to direct a big-budget blockbuster movie to be set in New York City. However, the offer comes from his former wife, Ellie (Téa Leoni), and her current boyfriend, Hal (Treat Williams), the studio head who stole Val's wife from him.

Pushed by his agent Al Hack (Mark Rydell), Val agrees to the project, but a psychosomatic ailment strikes him blind just before production is to begin. With Al's encouragement and aid, Val keeps his blindness a secret from the cast and studio head. The movie plays out with an aging director struggling to regain his vision, both literally and metaphorically.

In the end, Val's project costs $60 million—and flops. Nevertheless, Val enjoys a "Hollywood ending" of his own—his movie is a hit in France. After winning Ellie back, he happily proclaims, "Thank God the French exist."


Production notes

Haskell Wexler was the original cinematographer, but was fired by Woody Allen after a week of filming as they couldn't agree on how to film certain shots. Wedigo von Schultzendorff replaced Wexler.[3]


The film received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film received 47% positive reviews, based on 130 reviews.[4] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 46 out of 100, based on 37 reviews.[5]

The film was a failure in American theaters, with ticket sales under $5 million.[1][2] with a worldwide gross of only $14.8 million.[1]

It was screened out of competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[6]

In the United Kingdom, it was the first of Allen's films not to receive a theatrical release.BE GOOD

Film critic Bryant Frazer thought that it suffered from poor editing. He wrote, "What's most frustrating is the sense that Hollywood Ending could have been quite a bit better than it actually is. At 114 minutes, it's decisively lacking in the brevity that used to characterize Allen's pictures—even the super-serious, Bergman-inspired stuff. Worse, his timing seems to be off—the filmmaker who was once notorious for cutting his films to the absolute bone now gives us rambling, overlong shots featuring performers who almost seem to be ad libbing their dialogue. I ran to the Internet Movie Database to investigate, and discovered what may be the problem—Susan Morse is gone. Morse, the editor who had worked with Allen since Manhattan in 1979 and who turned into a real soldier by the time of the jazzy montage that characterized Deconstructing Harry, was reportedly a victim of budget-cutting within the ranks."[7]

In 2016 film critics Robbie Collin and Tim Robey ranked Hollywood Ending as the worst movie by Woody Allen.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Hollywood Ending at The Numbers
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Mojo title
  3. "Woody’s Hollywood Echoes Real Life", Fox News, April 28, 2002. 
  4. Template:Rotten-tomatoes
  5. Template:Metacritic film
  6. Festival de Cannes: Hollywood Ending. festival-cannes.com. Retrieved on 2009-11-04.
  7. Frazer, Bryant. Hollywood Ending. Deep Focus.
  8. "All 47 Woody Allen movies - ranked from worst to best", The Telegraph, October 12, 2016. Retrieved on February 12, 2017. 

External links

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