ocked as over-ripe pulp from Woody Allen, this is actually a droll Saturday Matinee romantic romp. It’s 1940. Old-man Allen is veteran New York insurance adjustor C.W. Briggs. Suddenly, firm chief Chris Magruder (Dan Ackroyd) hires “efficiency expert” Betty Ann Fitzgerald (Helen Hunt). Briggs and Fitzgerald are oil and water, hissing and sniping at one another. At a company party, magician Voltan Polgar (a charming David Ogden Stiers) hypnotizes Briggs and Fitzgerald and enlists them in a diamond heist.
This is a silly and sweet black-and-white throwback that sets out to parody 40s-50s noirs and have campy fun along the way. Hunt and Allen joust with pheromone brio. Charlize Theron gets a purring cameo as a bored socialite. Ackroyd mocks himself as the prim and fussy boss. Allen’s big band choices are great. Allen too old for Hunt? Who cares?