Featuring a soundtrack filled with beloved "standard" songs such as "Just You, Just Me" and "My Baby Just Cares for Me," this musical comedy by Woody Allen concerns a polite and comfortably well-off group of people and their romantic difficulties. DJ (Natasha Lyonne), who narrates the picture, is the daughter of divorced couple Steffi (Goldie Hawn) and Joe (Woody Allen). Since the break-up, Steffi has married Bob (Alan Alda); their children, DJ's half-sister and half-brother, are Skyler (Drew Barrymore) and Scott (Lukas Haas). Skyler is about to be married to a likeable chap named Holden (Edward Norton). However, her mother Steffi, a wealthy liberal, cultivates people as "projects." Her latest project is ex-con Charles (Tim Roth), an extremely rude and crude customer. At family gatherings, everyone politely ignores his lapses in manners and good taste until Skyler postpones her wedding to have an affair with him. In a parallel storyline, we see that DJ is convinced that her unremarried dad would find a perfect mate in Von (Julia Roberts), and she contrives an elaborate (and successful) scheme to bring them together. In a fashion typical of '30s musicals, this movie completely transcends its fluffy story, using a cavalcade of ballads to send the characters on a chaotic, romantic merry-go-round from New York to Paris.
by Clarke Fountain synopsis