See It at the Movies




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(Dull melodrama)

There are a number of references to Eugene O'Neil and his dysfunctional family plays.

Well, Woody Allen ain't no Eugene O'Neil. In fact, he's not even the Woody Allen that used to write clever movie scripts. Every movie lately seems to be worse than the previous one. "Wonder Wheel" takes place in Coney Island in the 1950s. The background music will remind you of the era.

Kate Winslet plays Ginny, an aspiring actress with a young pyromaniac son, and Humpty, a loser of a husband (Jim Belushi) who runs the carousel while she waits tables at the local clam shack. Humpty's daughter returns home, running away from her gangster husband. He gets her a job at the clam shack. Ginny has an affair with Mickey, the much younger lifeguard (Justin Timberlake), who becomes infatuated with her daughter, causing major complications.

The language is so stilted that even the talented Winslet can't rise above it. The story is so melodramatic even Timberlake can't keep it on track with his voiceovers. Winslet's character becomes the heavy in a movie filled with unlikable characters who react to everything by overacting. What a waste of talent and an hour and forty minutes.

Rated PG-13 with profanity and dullness.


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