In the 1920's, John Cusack is a playwright who can't get his plays produced because he is too tepid and cerebral until a mobster offers to bankroll the play if his girlfriend is cast. Cusack decides that nothing is perfect in life and this is his chance to finally do something meaningful.
And so he begins with a cast that includes the mobster's floozy, a cooky Tracey Ullman, an over-eater and a drama-queen has-been ala Sunset Boulevard. Dianne Wiest is perfect as the latter leading lady.
But as the rehearsals of the play progress, problems arise and the floozy's bodyguard offers some suggestions. He becomes more and more involved until John Cusack's role of writer has been usurped completely.
There is something about Woody Allen's period pieces that I never really totally buy. They fail to immerse me, maybe because somewhere in the back of my mind the voice of Woody Allen is making snide remarks.
But what I find interesting about this movie is its reversal of one of Allen's main tenets. That art perfects life. Because in the end, John Cusack admits that he's not an artist, and it is this fact that wins back his cuckolding girlfriend. She was in love with the man, not the artist.