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Fast-Paised review: ‘Match Point'

Big question: It's not often that Woody Allen throws comedy--and the New York nebbish routine--aside for darker material. Can he ace the British-set drama about ex-tennis player Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) infiltrating high society?

Catch it: Allen maintains an ominous sense of seduction as Chris bonds with wealthy new friend Tom (Matthew Goode), sleeps with Tom's sister (Emily Mortimer) and lusts after his pal's fiancee (Scarlett Johansson). At times feeling like the illegitimate child of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Closer," "Match Point" offers a tangled web of desire, manipulation and, most importantly, luck.

Skip it if: You're tired of sports metaphors. "Match Point" uses symbolism with the subtlety of a racket to the face.

Bottom line: A sexy, mysterious departure for Allen, "Match Point" serves up plenty of moral questions to get the peanut gallery talking. Unfortunately, the surprising but trivial twist ending makes "Match Point" double fault.

Bonus: An opportunity to make all of the tennis-related puns imaginable. You gotta 40-Love it!


`Match Point'

Written and directed by Woody Allen; photographed by Remi Adefarasin; edited by Alisa Lepselter; production designed by Jim Clay; produced by Letty Aronson, Gareth Wiley and Lucy Darwin. A DreamWorks release; opens Friday. Running time: 2:04. MPAA rating: R for some sexuality.

Chris Wilton - Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Nola Rice - Scarlett Johansson

Chloe Wilton - Emily Mortimer

Tom Hewett - Matthew Goode

Alec Hewett - Brian Cox

Eleanor Hewett - Penelope Wilton

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