There's a world of difference between Ray's desire to suck on a beer and memorize Latrell Sprewell's career field-goal percentage and Frenchy's dream of sipping wines and carousing amid the glamorous ruins of Europe. Yet just as the hypernebbishy Woody Allen of movies past represents a hyperbolic self-portrait, Ray's common touch here feels like a wishful exaggeration. Maybe, as Allen says, he's always been just an average guy name-dropping to get by. But that doesn't make him Ray, who probably wouldn't dig Wild Strawberries, or Armstrong's Hot Five recordings, or, for that matter, Manhattan. Allen's cultural blind spot, in other words, is that he feels compelled to pretend that he doesn't quite understand the culture of Woody Allen films.
Take the money and run: The Winklers (Tracey Ullman and Woody Allen) learn art appreciation from a seedy collector (Hugh Grant)