REVIEW: Magic in the Moonlight

Posted By: Richard Crouse · 8/1/2014 12:56:00 AM

“Magic in the Moonlight” feels like a Woody Allen movie. The main character, played by Colin Firth, is a misanthropic man, there’s a muse in the form of Emma Stone, there’s even a psychoanalyst and lots of talk of Freud and Nietzsche.

So far, so good, but there’s also a tepid romance and one liners that have Allen’s trademark rhythm—“I always thought the unseen world was a good place for a restaurant,” says Stanley (Firth). “Spirits get hungry.”—but few of the laughs we would expect.

Set in 1928 Firth is Stanley, a world famous stage magician with “all the charm of a typhoid epidemic.” He is also a genius with a special interest in debunking fraudulent spiritualists. When his friend and fellow magician Howard (Simon McBurney) approaches him to investigate a mystic named Sophie Baker (Stone) who he thinks is bilking a wealthy ex-pat American family out of their money, ...