A dissatisfied Manhattan sportswriter finds more than he expected when he searches for the biological mother of his adopted child in Woody Allen's comedy. Writer-director Allen also plays Lenny, a slightly more relaxed incarnation of his usual neurotic screen persona. Lenny is trapped in a bad marriage to high-strung art dealer Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter), but he finds solace in his relationship with his adopted young son. Indeed, he grows so fond of the boy that he decides to track down the boy's real mother, expecting to discover a brilliant professional. Instead, he finds Linda (Mira Sorvino), a ditzy prostitute and porno star who mingles casual vulgarity with disarming innocence. Despite his initial disillusionment, Lenny soon develops a fondness for Linda and decides to play matchmaker, setting her up with a handsome young boxer (Michael Rapaport) who is equally good-hearted and scatterbrained. While the contrast between the free-spirited Linda and the uptight Lenny provides the bulk of the laughs, hints of Allen's more literary humor are also present, particularly in the scenes involving a roaming Greek chorus commenting upon Lenny's fate. Sorvino received a supporting Oscar for her title role in a well-received movie that is nevertheless not at the level of Allen's best-known classics.
by Judd Blaise synopsis