Woody Allen’s stab at Greek comedy/tragedy, and it is wildly successful. Allen stars as Lenny Weinrib, a sportswriter married to ambitious Amanda Sloan (Helena Bonham Carter), who desperately wants her own art gallery in New York City and is willing to play the game to get it. Amanda convinces a reluctant Lenny to adopt, and they end up with beautiful Max. Lenny soon becomes obsessed with finding out who Max’s biological parents are, and he is not exactly happy when he discovers that the mother is a high-pitched actress wanna-be who is also a minor porn star and hooker (Mira Sorvino, in an Oscar-winning performance). Lenny is determined to turn her life around–but at the same time is forced to examine his own marriage, which is failing.
Allen intersperses New York City vignettes with hysterical scenes of a Greek chorus, led by F. Murray Abraham, chiming in about Lenny’s life, comparing it to Greek drama, and breaking out into song-and-dance numbers. The scenes in which the two worlds meet–both in New York and in the Greek theater, are wonderfully witty and incisive. This charming light comedy from Woody Allen also features fine cameo appearances by Olympia Dukakis, David Ogden Stiers, Jack Warden, and Tony Sirico.