The Curse of the Jade Scorpion | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion 

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As a rule, my favorite Woody Allen films are those select few that (a) warmly acknowledge his working-class roots, (b) steer clear of European influences, and (c) seek mainly to entertain. Manhattan Murder Mystery did the latter two wonderfully, and Broadway Danny Rose did all three, as does this charming throwaway, set in 1940. One thing I especially like about it, apart from the flavorsome 40s decor in color, is that it's silly in much the same way that many small 40s comedies were. Allen is an insurance investigator and Helen Hunt an efficiency expert working for the same company, and they hate each other with a passion--until they're hypnotized during a nightclub act into not only loving one another madly but also stealing jewels whenever posthypnotic suggestions are delivered. Others in the cast include Dan Aykroyd, Elizabeth Berkley, Brian Markinson, Wallace Shawn, David Ogden Stiers, and Charlize Theron. 104 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Crown Village 18, Davis, Esquire, Gardens 1-6, Lake, Webster Place.

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