Looking around at the other reviews out there, I see that mine is one of the less negative ones. I suppose it’s possible that I was in a generous mood partly because this was the first preview screening I had attended, and the first review I had written, since going back to full-time stay-at-home daddyhood nearly a month ago; a part of me is just glad to be reviewing anything these days. (Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll get over it.) Then again, I can’t deny I may have a soft spot for any movie that gives me an opportunity to talk, however tangentially, about Woody Allen’s glory days.
Speaking of which, in addition to the Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) reference, the original version of this review also referred to ‘The Kugelmass Episode’, a short story, first published in 1977, about a bored professor who is magically transported into various books. I guess two Woody Allen references may have been too much for a review of a movie that has nothing to do with him — but for what it’s worth, I mentioned that short story partly because it has a similar premise to this film, yet it acknowledges a number of ramifications that the movie pretty much ignores.
For example, if characters are entering and exiting famous works of literature, wouldn’t readers around the world notice that their books had changed? And what if the “silvertongues” — the people who have the power to bring books to life — happen to be reading aloud from something other than a novel, such as, oh, a history book, or a dictionary? Those are the sorts of questions I can get carried away with, when writing about a movie like this.