Sweet and Lowdown

"Weak"

Sweet and Lowdown Review


Woody Allen loves jazz. He loves jazz so much that he regularly skips the Oscars to play clarinet with his jazz combo. He talks about jazz all the time.

I love Woody Allen, really I do. I'm probably the only living critic who enjoyed Celebrity. I love jazz, too. Every Wednesday for two years, I saw a classic jazz quartet play tunes like "All of Me," "Rosetta," and "Old Man Time" in a dank cellar bar.

Woody Allen loves jazz so much he made up a guy and made a fictional documentary about him.

As it turns out, you can love a thing too much.

Emmet Ray (Penn) is a supposed wild jazzman of the 1930s. He drinks hard, pimps whores in his spare time, falls for a mute woman (Morton), has a fling with a high-society dame (Thurman), and plays a little guitar along the way.

Sounds exciting, but unfortunately the actual story is so boring and uneventful that it's hard to care about any of this. At 95 minutes, I was sure this would be light and breezy Allen fare. It was the longest hour-and-a-half of my life.

Parts of the film are great, including a moment near the finale, when three different versions of a humorous incident in Ray's life are played out. The jazz is great, but there's surprisingly little music in the film. It mainly serves as a lullaby to play while you blissfully fall asleep in your chair.

What's worse is that the structure just plain doesn't work. Allen's so-called "expert interviews" talking about Ray are intercut not with faux documentary footage, but with a regular movie. Sony is trying to quietly position Sweet and Lowdown as a "real" documentary, but this ain't no Blair Witch Project.

Instead, it's just a muddled mess, a character in search of a story, a filmmaker in search of his muse.

Fly me to the moon...



Sweet and Lowdown

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 26th January 2000

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 47 Rotten: 13

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Benny Goodman as Himself, as Trudy Wilson, as Popsy

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

Advertisement
The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.