Release Date: 12th April 1996
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Producer: Letty Aronson & Robert Greenhut
Executive Producer: J.E. Beaucaire, Jean Doumanian & Charles H. Joffe
Runtime: 1hr 35mins
A Greek chorus narrates and comments—and Oedipus, Jocasta, Tiresias, and Cassandra sometimes directly intervene—in this modern fable.
Sports writer Lenny Weinrib is married to the career-driven Amanda, who wants a baby but because she cannot afford to get pregnant due to her job, she says that they will adopt. Lenny is opposed to this, but Amanda always has her way, so they adopt a baby boy, whom they name Max.
As Max, it becomes clear he is highly intelligent. Lenny becomes obsessed with learning the identity of Max’s biological parents. After great difficulty, Lenny finally locates Max’s mother: prostitute and part-time porn star Linda Ash.
Lenny makes an “appointment” with her. At first, Linda appears to be a dumb blonde with a crude sense of humour, along with delusions of becoming an actress. Lenny does not sleep with her and urges her to stop being a prostitute, but Linda becomes furious and throws him out.
It takes a while for Lenny to befriend Linda. Then he begins her lifestyle makeover. Lenny also tricks her into telling him about the child she gave up for adoption. He persuades Linda to quit her profession and even bribes her violent pimp with basketball tickets to let Linda go. Lenny then sets Linda up with a boxer-turned-onion farmer Kevin. It appears to be a perfect match, until Kevin discovers Linda’s background and leaves her.
Meanwhile, Amanda is having an affair with her colleague Jerry, and Lenny finds out about it. Lenny and Linda console one another and sleep together. Lenny then reconciles with a guilt-ridden Amanda, realizing that they are still in love. Linda makes one last attempt to win back farm boy Kevin, but as she drives back to the city, a helicopter drops out of the sky. Linda gives the pilot Don a lift and, before long, they end up getting married.
The twist is that Linda is pregnant with Lenny’s child. A year later, Lenny and Linda, with their individual children, meet in a toy store. They have each other’s child, but they do not know it.
Woody Allen…as Lenny Weinrib
Helena Bonham Carter…as Amanda Sloan Weinrib
Mira Sorvino…as Linda Ash
Michael Rapaport…as Kevin
F. Murray Abraham…as Greek Chorus Leader
Olympia Dukakis…as Jocasta
David Ogden Stiers…as Laius
Jack Warden…as Tiresias
Danielle Ferland…as Cassandra
Peter Weller…as Jerry Bender
Claire Bloom…as Mrs. Sloan