Years ago, when Allen's inimitable comedy style still seemed fresh, Scoop may have joined the ranks of "Sleeper" and "Take the Money and Run" as a comedy classic. Today it provides a pleasant diversion.
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What once was a gifted comic's fluid improvisation is now a doddering old man so embarrassing he's uncomfortable to watch, and the surrogate father-daughter needling he has with Johansson is creepy when you realize Woody the director is shooting her seductively in that skintight bathing suit.
A blend of lackluster comedy and lazy plotting, the film feels a lot like bad Hitchcock.
A light-hearted if ghostly murder mystery that for all the contemporary English locations feels like a 1930s studio film including a plot that bears little scrutiny. Along with the delectable Johansson, the film offers fun roles for Allen, Hugh Jackman and Ian McShane.
A companion piece to "Match Point" that suffers all the more in comparison.
The direction is lazy and the script thoroughly witless, from its token Bergman references to dialogue that suggests a night in borscht-belt hell.
As it is, the film perpetually teeters on the edge between a functional vehicle and a train wreck, and whenever Allen opens his mouth, he pushes it violently in the latter direction.
After the accomplished smoothness of "Match Point," it's back to more ragged form in Scoop, despite the almost identical posh settings, and the return of Scarlett Johansson as leading lady.