Film review: Magic in the Moonlight (12A, 98 mins)

Magic In The Moonlight: Colin Firth and Emma Stone
Magic In The Moonlight: Colin Firth and Emma Stone
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Stars’ Magic fails to sparkle

There is magic and moonlight but considerably more insecurities and bluster in Woody Allen’s playful yet lightweight romantic comedy set on the sun-kissed 1920s French Riviera.

The writer-director’s frequent forays away from his beloved New York to European soil have been decidedly hit-and-miss affairs and Magic In The Moonlight disappoints more than it delights.

Allen affectionately evokes the era from the opening croon of the Cole Porter classic You Do Something To Me performed by Leo Reisman & His Orchestra, and the writer-director loads the soundtrack with upbeat jazzy tunes that telegraph the characters’ emotions like You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love) by Smith Ballew and His Piping Rock Orchestra to underscore a blossoming central romance.

Regrettably, sparkling one-liners are in short supply on the Cote d’Azur and the on-screen chemistry between Colin Firth and Emma Stone is lukewarm, never threatening to set our pulse racing like her smouldering pairings with Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love or real-life beau Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Magic In The Moonlight is a valentine to Allen’s lifelong fascination with illusions.